The Los Angeles Dodgers completed their first Interleague series of the season, as they split a two-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers won, 10-5, behind 13 hits and a combined three home runs from Trayce Thompson, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig.
Thompson’s home run was the first of the night for the Dodgers, with his towering two-run shot putting them ahead 2-1 in the second inning. Thompson’s home run landed on one of the many catwalks in Tropicana Field.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the versatile outfielder was not allowed to retrieve his home run ball:
“They said they don’t let players do it anymore,” Thompson said. “So I went to the stingray tank instead. It would be cool if someone got up there and got the ball. I got here at 1 o’clock, figuring I’d go up there.”
Thompson joked that if he perhaps was more recognizable like some of his teammates, the Rays may have allowed him on the catwalk:
“Maybe if it had been [Clayton Kershaw] or Adrian [Gonzalez], they could have snuck up there,” he speculated. “I didn’t even try.”
Thompson has gotten off to a strong start to his Dodgers career after being acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the offseason. In 24 games this season he is batting .268/.305/.446 with two home runs and nine RBIs.
He has seen his playing time increase recently because of his ability to hit left-handed pitching. Thompson is hitting .310/.333/.586 against southpaws, with both of his home runs this season coming against a left-hander.
With Joc Pederson struggling against left-handers (.125 batting average), him and Thompson are essentially platooning in center field, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has not yet called it a platoon.