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Pearce keeps raking at Trop, now with Rays

First baseman has impressive career numbers in St. Petersburg
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Steve Pearce always wondered how he would hit if he went home to play in the Majors.

That question is finally getting answered: well.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Steve Pearce always wondered how he would hit if he went home to play in the Majors.

That question is finally getting answered: well.

View Full Game Coverage

Pearce, a native of nearby Lakeland, Fla., homered at Tropicana Field for the first time as a member of the Rays in Tuesday night's loss to the Dodgers, and then he followed it up on Wednesday with a three-run homer off Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood that separated the game in an 8-5 Rays win.

Video: LAD@TB: Pearce launches a three-run homer to left

"They'd been pounding me in the whole series," Pearce said. "I was kind of anticipating a fastball right there, and I got it and I didn't miss it."

Every time Pearce played at Tropicana Field with the Orioles, family and friends would drive over to attend the games. He usually responded by putting on a show.

"I've always liked hitting here," Pearce said. "It's one of those things I can't explain. Just happens when I show up here."

Since 2014, he averaged a home run every 10.75 at-bats at Tropicana Field (eight home runs in 86 at-bats). But he did not have a home run in his first 32 at-bats this season. Since then, he has three home runs in 18 at-bats.

Wednesday night, Pearce homered in consecutive games for the first time since April 6-7, 2015, at Tropicana Field while playing for the Orioles.

"He seems to be pretty locked in," said Rays manager Kevin Cash about Pearce. "Having good at-bats. His opportunities are coming more consistently, and he's definitely making the most of them."

Cash has stuck to his platoon system, so Pearce has primarily played first base against left-handed pitching, while Logan Morrison has had most of the starts against right-handers.

Wednesday night, the lineup against right-handers -- except for left-handed-hitting DH Corey Dickerson -- made Cash look like a genius, producing four home runs from the right side. Pearce's proved to be the biggest, because it was of the three-run variety. Pearce likes the offensive vibe that the Rays created Wednesday night.

"Very nice," Pearce said. "Especially going into this road trip and an off-day, we're going to use this to bring the momentum into the next series."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Steve Pearce