ST. PETERSBURG -- A four-run Dodgers fifth broke open the first of their two-game Interleague series with the Rays, leading to a 10-5 win Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.Curt Casali's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth tied the game at three, but the Dodgers got going against Rays
ST. PETERSBURG -- A four-run Dodgers fifth broke open the first of their two-game Interleague series with the Rays, leading to a 10-5 win Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.
Curt Casali's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth tied the game at three, but the Dodgers got going against Rays starter Matt Moore in the fifth. Howie Kendrick had a two-run double, before Trayce Thompson's two-run single chased Moore while putting the Dodgers up 7-3.
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Giving "up those runs right there in the fifth, I have to be better than that," Moore said. "I have to be able to stop that before it gets to be a four-run inning."
Thompson's two-run homer and Joc Pederson's solo shot fueled a three-run Dodgers second that gave them an early lead. Dodgers starter and former Rays ace Scott Kazmir endured several bumps but came away with his second win of the season. Kazmir's final line saw him allow four earned runs while striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings.
"I was hitting my spots for the most part," said Kazmir, who allowed two home runs, increasing his season total to seven. "Still, I'm hard on myself and feel like there's a lot more improvement that I need to address and clean up, pitches that ended up right over the middle of the zone."
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Yasiel Puig added a three-run homer off Ryan Webb in the ninth for some insurance, which brought some comfort to the Dodgers in the bottom half of the inning. The Rays loaded the bases with two outs against left-hander J.P. Howell, who hit Evan Longoria to bring in a run. The Dodgers then brought in closer Kenley Jansen, who got Corey Dickerson to fly out, earning him the save and the Dodgers a win.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Falling behind: After a flawless first inning, Moore ran into trouble in the second when he began to fall behind in the count. Thompson made Moore pay when he hit a 2-0 pitch off the catwalk hanging above the left-field seats. Later in the inning, Moore fell behind 3-1 to Pederson, who was making a rare start against a left-hander, and once again, Moore paid the price as Pederson went deep to center field.
Moore "didn't locate the ball as well as he's capable of," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He just pitched behind in some counts, and they took advantage of it."
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Ending droughts: Kendrick, 1-for-16 on the Dodgers' last homestand and batting .143 on the season, singled with one out in the second and scored on Thompson's home run. Adrian Gonzalez, in an 0-for-21 tailspin, singled in the third inning and went to third on Justin Turner's bloop double, but both were stranded on Kendrick's flyout to right field. Puig, 2-for-24 on the homestand, reached on a bad-hop single and scored in the four-run fifth inning.
HBP matters:Brandon Guyer entered Tuesday night's game having been hit an AL-leading 30 times since 2015, an average of once every 14.3 plate appearances. Batting second, Guyer got hit by a pitch in his first at-bat against Kazmir, moving Guyer's Major League leading total for the season to seven. Longoria followed with a double to left that scored Guyer to put the Rays up 1-0.
Kendrick saves a run: Kendrick made a barehand grab of Brandon Guyer's slow roller and threw him out leading off the fifth inning, and one out later Steve Pearce homered.
"It was a slow roller, and once it got by the pitcher, the only play I have is a bare-handed play because the guy can run," said Kendrick. "Fortunately I was able to get Adrian a throw to handle."
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SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Thompson's second-inning home run hit the C-ring catwalk and did not come down, becoming the sixth fair ball in Tropicana Field history to hit a catwalk and not come down. The other two were hit by John Jaso, who turned the trick on Sept. 17, 2015, vs. Baltimore, and Boston's Jason Bay, who did so against the Rays on Sept. 15, 2008.
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Dodgers: Turner slides into the designated hitter spot in the lineup with Alex Wood starting in Wednesday's 4:10 p.m. PT game for the Dodgers. Wood is coming off a seven-inning, one run no-decision against San Diego.
Rays:Drew Smyly was the Rays' best starter in April and will take that positive mojo into Wednesday night's start against the Dodgers at 7:10 p.m. ET, a team he has faced just once in his career. That came in a three-inning relief stint at Dodgers Stadium in April 2014 when he pitched for the Tigers. He allowed one hit and no runs.
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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.