ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays bats, which had been largely silent for the better part of a week, came to life late Wednesday, as Avisail Garcia and Kevin Kiermaier each homered as part of a seven-run seventh inning that broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Rays an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Tropicana Field.
After the Rays could must just a solo home run by Tommy Pham off Dodgers starter Rich Hill through the first six innings, Tampa Bay finally got to reliever Dylan Floro in the seventh, as Austin Meadows, pinch hitting for catcher Travis d'Arnaud, was hit by a pitch. Guillermo Heredia singled him to second, and Brandon Lowe broke the tie with a base hit of his own. Garcia followed with a three-run blast to right to extend Tampa Bay's lead to 5-1.
Dave Roberts lifted Floro in favor of Caleb Ferguson, who fared little better, as he allowed a base hit to Pham, then after striking out Ji-Man Choi and getting Willy Adames to fly out, hi Daniel Robertson with a pitch, allowing Kiermaier to hit as the ninth man in the inning, and the Rays center fielder took the lefty Ferguson out to the deepest part of the ballpark for his fourth home run of the year.
Los Angeles had tied the game in the sixth on a solo homer by Max Muncy off Yonny Chirinos, and looked to try and take the lead on a two-out single by Cody Bellinger off Emilio Pagan, but Kiermaier came up with a huge throw to nail the Dodgers first baseman at the plate to end the inning and preserve the tie.
Opener Ryne Stanek, along with Chirinos, Adam Kolarek, Pagan and Casey Sadler combined to limit the Dodgers to just five hits on the night.
The win gets the Rays back to ten games over .500 on the season, and keeps them two games behind New York for the lead in the American League East.
Tampa Bay Rays (28-18) at Cleveland Indians (25-23), 6:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 5:00 with The Inside Pitch.
Rays starter: TBA
Indians starter: RHP Adam Plutko (1-0, 1.50 ERA)