Rays jump on Tomlin in 7-4 win over Tribe
CLEVELAND — For the first time in a year, the Rays didn’t get run over on the road. Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer — his third homer in two days — and Alex Cobb controlled Cleveland over seven inning as Tampa Bay busted out the bats in a 7-4 win over the Indians on Wednesday to complete the Rays’ most successful trip since last May.
Dickerson connected in the second inning off Josh Tomlin (2-5) and Logan Morrison hit a solo shot in the third for the free-swinging Rays, who hit a franchise-record 10 homers in the three-game series and went 4-2 on a swing through Boston and Cleveland — two of the AL’s toughest stops.
“We’re coming out of here on a huge high,” said Cobb, who threw 115 pitches — his most since Tommy John surgery in 2014 — on an unseasonably warm day. “We’re pumped about the way we played on this road trip. We’ve done a good of putting things together.”
Cobb (4-3) allowed three runs and six hits and retired the last eight batters he faced. Jesus Sucre also homered for the Rays, who have 59 already this season.
“They might strike out quite a bit, but they’re a pretty athletic bunch,” Tomlin said. “I know they swing a lot, but they can find the barrel pretty good, too.”
Indians rookie Bradley Zimmer hit his first career homer in the ninth off Alex Colome, and Jason Kipnis almost got one, but Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier robbed him with a leaping catch for the final out.
After Dickerson homered twice in a five-homer barrage Tuesday Tampa Bay came out swinging against Tomlin, who struck out five straight before giving up three consecutive two-out hits — the last an RBI double by Sucre.
Dickerson, who came in tied for the AL lead in hits, followed with his ninth homer, a towering shot into the right-field seats to make it 4-0.
Tomlin’s performance ballooned the ERA for Cleveland’s starters to a league-high 5.17. In the last five games, Indians starters have a 9.14 ERA.
With ace Corey Kluber on the disabled list, there is some genuine concern about the starting staff, which is supposed to be the team’s strongest unit.
“I don’t think we’ve probably executed as well as we can,” pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. “We probably haven’t pitched to our strengths as well as we can, and I think some of the numbers show that. It’s kind of perplexing when you look at, ‘How is this possible? This number doesn’t usually correlate with what’s going on over here.’
“We really need to simplify things, start pitching to our strengths a little bit more and make sure we navigate lineups the right way.”