Dickerson’s 3-Run Blast Ends 0-for-21 Skid
Pitching, defense and the three run homer. A simple formula that the Rays hope to repeat frequently, and will have to, if they are to stay in the playoff race deep into September. On Thursday night they followed the blueprint and defeated the Indians 4-1.
For the second time in his last four starts and third time this season, Blake Snell worked into the seventh inning. In 6 1/3-innings of work he allowed just one earned run on four hits while striking out four and walking two.
“We had a chance to win the game simply because of Blake Snell’s performance. It was
outstanding. He commanded all of his pitches, pitched out of some tough jams.” Kevin Cash said. ” A couple of lead-off doubles, a couple of walks here and there, but as far as commanding the baseball and making big pitches when he had to, that’s a huge step in the right direction.”
Tommy Hunter (2-2, 1.58 ERA) came into the game and got Jay Bruce to pop out to short and struck out Yan Gomes to keep the game tied at 1-1. He remained in the game to retire the Indians in order in the eighth inning including a pair of strikeouts.
Adeiny Hechavarria singled with 1-out against Nick Goody (1-2, 2.83 ERA). He stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw. It was Hechavarria’s first stolen base since August 3, 2016, a span of 103 games.
Mallex Smith failed on two suicide squeeze attempts, popping both balls up, but neither ball was corralled by the Indians defense. The second squeeze attempt came with two strikes resulting in the second out of the inning. Jesus Sucre was hit by a pitch to bring Corey Dickerson to the plate.
Dickerson was mired in an 0-for-21 slump but delivered a 3-run homer on the first pitch he saw to give the Rays a comfortable 4-1 lead.
“The game is hard. It’s hard for anybody, but it’s about how quick you can bounce back from it.” Dickerson said after the game. “I think it’s been a pretty tough road trip and a pretty tough couple of weeks that the whole team, not just me, has had to battle. I think a lot of the energy has been coming back. You never know who it’s going to be that day and that’s what is cool about this team.”
The win improves the Rays record to 2-4 on their nine game homestand and 59-57 overall. They pick up a game on the New York Yankees for the top Wild Card position (trail by 2.0 games).
Logan Morrison‘s RBI single in the fifth inning snapped the Rays’ 0-for-31 skid with runners in scoring position.
The Rays bullpen threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Their bullpen ERA of 2.44 (22-ER/81-IP) in August leads all of MLB. They haven’t allowed a run over the teams last seven wins, combining for 23 1/3 scoreless innings in those games.
Up Next For Rays:
The Rays will look to win back-to-back games for the first time since winning three in a row August 1 through 3rd against the Houston Astros. The Rays will send Jacob Faria (5-2, 2.81 ERA) to the mound. The Indians counter with Carlos Carrasco (10-5, 4.06 ERA).