The first game of the all-astroturf roadtrip brought an interleague match against the no bullpenned, dome-stadiumed Rays.
It also brought plenty of ex-Jays back to Tampa, Enrique Hernandez as the DH, Joc Pederson getting his first start of the season against a southpaw, and Scott Kazmir on the mound. It was bound to have a story or two to tell – and boy, howdy – it did!
Rays scored 1-0
Thompson’s home run hit the dome catwalk 400 feet above the spectators, and stayed there. Only six home runs have been hit that high up to the catwalk; three at the lower D-ring level, and three above at C-level. Welcome to C-ring level, Trayce Thompson.
Then Joc Pederson stepped up.
BOOM! Another big shot. This time to center field. It’s 404 feet to CF at Tropicana Stadium. Joc’s ball hit pretty high up off that wall, so LADR’s Home Run Tracker estimated that homer at 440 feet.
3rd inning Dodgers 3-1
Adrian Gonzalez hit a single over second base to break a string of 21 at bats without a hit.
Scott Kazmir at 5 Ks and 50 pitches.
4th inning Dodgers 3-1
Kazmir gave up a two-run homer – with how many outs? OF COURSE!!! Two outs. Those two-out runs have killed the Dodgers all season.
5th inning Tie game 3-3
Kike walked to start the inning.
Yasiel Puig with a hot smash to the hot corner. It bounced off of the heel of Evan Longoria‘s throwing hand and Puig was safe at first.
A wild pitch advanced Kiké to third.
Justin Turner walked to load the bases with one out.
Howie broke out with a Dodgers double! Kiké and Puig scored standing up.
Trayce Thompson then cracked a clean single to score two more! Thompson at a career high 4 RBIs. Dodgers up 7-3
Kazmir gave up another home run – with how many outs? Say it along with me at home, kids – WITH TWO FRIGGIN’ OUTS!!!!
7th inning Dodgers 7-4
When Kazmir was at 50 pitches after four, I would not have bet he would be headed to the mound for the 7th, but that just goes to show what some run support will do for a guy. A season high nine strike outs helps as well.
With two out Roberts went to Joe Blanton, who recorded the last out of the inning with a K.
A three run blast! 10-4
Gonzo continued breaking out of his slump with a base hit that beat the shift.
Howie with his fourth hit of the night!
They didn’t end up scoring but Puig had already spoken for the Dodgers.
J.P. Howell came in (just to taunt the baseball gods).
Howell got two quick outs, then walked two Rays back to back. Then he gave up a single to load the bases.
He then hit Evan Longoria to bring in a run. Now 10-5
Note to the skipper – Don’t taunt the baseball gods.
Bum out – Kenley Jansen in.
Out, done, Rays speared. Dodgers Win!
It was a night with Adrian Gonzalez breaking his slump, Howie Kendrick knocking in his first RBI of the season, Yasiel, Thompson and Pederson blasting home runs, and Kazmir striking out nine.
As the venerable Vin Scully would say, “Not a bad opening act.”
Scott Kazmir (2-2) with 6 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 9 Ks, 2 HR ERA 5.68
Home runs: Thompson, Pederson, Puig
Doubles: Turner, Kendrick
Broke outta slumps: Gonzalez, Kendrick
RISP: 3 for 8 Improving!