Corey Dickerson raps 4 hits, Rays take opener from Cardinals
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash watched as the Rays piled up 16 hits.
He enjoyed the performance very much.
Corey Dickerson had four hits, including two doubles, and Tampa Bay beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 on Friday night.
“We’ve been waiting for one of those days to just rack up a bunch of hits,” Cash said. “It’s been a while, so it was good to see.”
Adeiny Hechavarria added three hits and two RBIs, helping Tampa Bay to its fourth win in five games. Steven Souza Jr. homered, and Kevin Kiermaier also drove in two runs.
Sergio Romo (2-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief of Jake Odorizzi, who allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings. The Rays’ bullpen combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings.
“We went through a tough lull there for about two weeks,” Souza said. “This is more of the team that we are, I think. So if we can keep pitching the way we’ve been pitching, which has been unbelievable, and have this type of production from our offense we’re going to do some special things down the stretch.”
St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha (9-7) was charged with five runs and nine hits in 3 1/3. The Cardinals have dropped five of six games and eight of 11.
“I’m just not making pitches when I need to and I feel like I’m getting two strikes on them and not able to just finish them off and that’s something I need to do a better job of,” Wacha said.
St. Louis jumped in front on Dexter Fowler’s sacrifice fly in the first, but Tampa Bay responded with four runs in the third.
Souza led off with his 28th homer. Hechavarria hit a two-run double down the third base line and Odorizzi helped himself with a two-out RBI single.
Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly in the third for the Cardinals, and Kolten Wong went deep in the fourth.
Tampa Bay stretched its lead to 7-3 on Kiermaier’s two-run single in the ninth off Brett Cecil.
RAYS MAKE ROSTER MOVES
Tampa Bay signed infielder Danny Espinosa and optioned infielder Daniel Robertson to Triple-A Durham. The Rays also announced that infielder Trevor Plouffe cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Durham.
Espinosa, who was released by Seattle on Monday, started at second base and hit eighth in the order. He went 1 for 4 with a walk.
IN THE SHOW
Cardinals reliever Ryan Sherriff made his major league debut, tossing three scoreless innings. The left-hander allowed two hits, struck out four and walked one.
Sherriff praised Molina for his help behind the plate.
“It was a great experience,” Sherriff said. “I mean I was numb through the whole thing and it was just awesome, just having the best catcher in baseball call the game for me. I give all the credit to him. He did one hell of a job for me.”
Rays: 2B Brad Miller was not in the starting lineup. He pinch-hit in the seventh inning and struck out. He left Thursday’s game against Toronto with a bruised right shoulder after being hit by a pitch.
Cardinals: 1B Matt Carpenter returned to the lineup after missing two games with a virus. . OF Tommy Pham (foot soreness) was out of the starting lineup, but had a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning.
Rays: LHP Blake Snell (2-6, 4.42) allowed two hits and struck out eight over seven innings in his previous start, Sunday against the Mariners. He has a 3.43 ERA over his last eight starts.
Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake (7-12, 4.16) is 2-10 in his last 12 decisions and is 0-3 with a 10.31 ERA in five starts in August.