Rays hit 5 homers in win vs. Indians
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians’ pitchers have allowed the fewest home runs in the American League, but Tuesday night at Progressive Field, they allowed the most long balls in a homer-filled game.
The Tampa Bay Rays belted five home runs, two by Corey Dickerson, in a 6-4 victory over the Indians.
Cleveland had allowed a league-low 35 home runs coming into the game, but the Rays hit five in the first six innings. It was the most served up by Cleveland since the Minnesota Twins also hit five last Aug. 1.
“It was a good win for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash. “We were able to hit a bunch of solo shots that gave us a nice cushion.”
Jake Odorizzi (3-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings. Alex Colome threw a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his 10th save.
Cleveland starter Danny Salazar (2-4) pitched five-plus innings and gave up five runs on six hits, four of them home runs.
In addition to the two home runs by Dickerson, Tampa Bay also got long balls from Colby Rasmus, Derek Norris and Tim Beckham.
“Against Salazar, we were looking to jump his fastball early, before he could go to his breaking stuff,” Cash said. “We did all we could to ambush a couple of his fastballs.”
Salazar retired the first five batters he faced, four of them on strikeouts.
In the second inning, Rasmus hit a 1-0 pitch into the right field seats in right field for his fourth home run, giving Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.
Salazar gave up home runs to the first two batters he faced in the third, Norris and Dickerson, extending the Rays’ lead to 3-0.
The Indians got a run back in the bottom of the third inning, when Yan Gomes doubled and scored on a double by Jason Kipnis.
The Rays hit their fourth home run in the fifth inning, when Dickerson led off with a mammoth blast over the wall in center field. The drive went an estimated 449 feet and gave Tampa Bay a 4-1 lead.
“That was one of my top ones,” Dickerson said. “I hit it clean. I knew it was gone. The ones to center field feel good. I actually thought it was longer than that (449 feet).”
Indians manager Terry Francona said of Salazar’s outing, “Vexing. He’s got good enough stuff to punch out nine. He gives up six hits, but four of them are home runs. When he made a mistake, he really paid for it.”
The Rays added two more runs in the sixth inning, when they knocked Salazar out of the game.
Steven Souza Jr. led off the inning with a double to right field that sent Salazar to the showers. Reliever Shawn Armstrong entered, and after retiring the first batter he faced, gave up a two-run home run to Beckham.
The Indians’ offense stirred to life in the bottom of the sixth.
Francisco Lindor led off with a single went to third on a single by Michael Brantley and scored on a groundout by Carlos Santana.
Edwin Encarnacion then hit a line drive over the wall in center field for his sixth home run, cutting the deficit to 6-4.
“I did what I wanted to with the pitch. He just had a good approach,” said Odorizzi, who was disappointed he couldn’t pitch deeper into the game.
“I was in a nice groove for five innings, but in the sixth I lost my groove a little. I’m disappointed about not being able to get deeper into the game, but we won. That’s all that matters.”
NOTES: The Indians purchased the contract of OF Bradley Zimmer from Triple-A Columbus. Zimmer was the Indians’ first-round pick (21st overall) in the 2014 draft. ... Cleveland also recalled RHP Shawn Armstrong from Columbus. To make room on the roster for Zimmer and Armstrong, the Indians placed OF Abraham Almonte (right biceps strain) on the 10-day disabled list and optioned OF Yandy Diaz to Columbus. ... Tampa Bay 2B Brad Miller was a late scratch from the lineup due to a strained abdominal muscle. He was replaced by Daniel Robertson. ... Rays SS Tim Beckham has seven home runs, the second most by any shortstop in the majors behind Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor’s nine. ... Tampa Bay hitters lead the majors with 427 strikeouts, the most in major league history through 42 games.