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Dodgers allow 4 home runs in loss to Rays

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Four home runs proved far too many for the Dodgers to allow, falling to the Rays 8-5 on Wednesday night for a two-game series split at Tropicana Field.

The Dodgers offense could only scratch together a pair of runs against Rays starter Drew Smyly, who struck out five batters in the first two innings and settled for six in his five-plus innings of work.

Those two runs saw the Dodgers tied with Tampa Bay in the sixth inning, with the Rays only offense a pair of solo shots off Alex Wood - one by Brandon Guyer in the first inning then another by Steven Souza in the fourth.

Wood had his positive moments, striking out seven with no walks one start after setting his season high with nine strikeouts. But the left-hander, who allowed just one home run in his previous five starts and entered Wednesday with a 60.5-percent ground ball rate that was tops in baseball among starters, allowed three home runs to the Rays.

The last home run was a crusher, a towering three-run home run by Steve Pearce to left field in the sixth inning that broke the tie and put the Rays up 5-2.

The third time was the charm for manager Dave Roberts, who pulled Wood after Pearce's blast. Wood actually looked surprised he was being taken out of the game after allowing five runs in five-plus innings. It made as much sense as the dumb Tropicana Field ground rule that negated catcher Yasmani Grandal 's fine catch of a foul pop while falling in the sixth inning just because the ball hit the cat walk.

Pedro Baez allowed the fourth home run of the game for Tampa Bay, part of a three-run seventh that helped put the game out of reach. Baez is now tied with Wood for second on the staff with four home runs allowed on the season.

The Dodgers scored three themselves in the eighth inning, a rally that saw four walks and a wild pitch, but a rally that proved even more frustrating since they were already down six runs to open the frame.

Long balls

One night after setting a season high by hitting three home runs, Dodgers pitchers allowed a season-high four bombs on Wednesday. Since moving to Los Angeles, the Dodgers are 21-92 (.186) in such games.

Mr. Versatile

Howie Kendrick started at second base on Wednesday and reached base twice at the plate, scoring two runs. He moved from second base to left field in the sixth inning, then moved to third base in the seventh. Kendrick became the only Dodgers player, dating back to at least 1913, to play all three of those positions int he same game.

Up next

The Dodgers have Thursday off, then move on north of the border to play a weekend series in Toronto, with Kenta Maeda starting on Friday night. Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman starts the opener for Toronto.

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: Brandon Guyer (2), Steven Souza (6), Steve Pearce (3), Curt Casali (3)

WP - Erasmo Ramirez (5-1): 2 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikout

LP - Alex Wood (1-3): 5+ IP, 6 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 7 strikeouts

Sv - Alex Colome (6): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts