The Los Angeles Dodgers took the field Wednesday night looking to earn a two-game sweep over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, but they put on a lackluster performance and lost, 8-1, so will have to settle for a series split.
The Dodgers offense got going early as Joc Pederson led off the game with a walk and then Max Muncy hit a hard single to right. The heart of the order made three consecutive outs from there though so Rich Hill did not get any early runs of support to work with.
Hill has been on a roll his last couple starts and he kept that going on Wednesday night, beginning the game with three shutout innings.
Tampa Bay scored first in the fourth inning though when Tommy Pham hit a leadoff home run off Hill. A couple of pitches before, Hill looked to have struck out Pham on an 0-2 fastball but it was called a ball which set the stage for the home run.
That was the only blemish against Hill though. He tossed six solid innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out seven and walking two.
Rays pitcher Ryne Stanek and Yonny Chirinos were able to keep the Dodgers off the scoreboard until the sixth inning, but that changed when Max Muncy launched a solo home run to straightaway center field to tie the game at one.
The Dodgers had a chance to take the lead later in that sixth inning when Russell Martin hit a single up the middle with two on and two outs. Cody Bellinger tested Kevin Kiermaier’s arm, and he gunned him out at the plate to end the inning.
Dylan Floro, who had allowed just one earned run all season, came into the game for Hill in the seventh inning. He had a disaster of an outing, hitting the leadoff man before giving up back-to-back singles and a three-run home run to Avisail Garcia to give the Rays a 5-1 lead. Floro allowed four runs and did not record an out.
Caleb Ferguson came in for the Dodgers and couldn’t put out the fire. He walked a guy, hit a guy and gave up a three-run home run to Kiermaier to allow the Rays to break it open at 8-1.
With the Rays putting up a crooked number, that put an end to any comeback hopes the Dodgers had and they wound up failing to score in the final two innings.