The Matt Kemp home run in the top of the fifth brought Los Angeles to within one run, and the Dodgers jumped on Tampa Bay in the bottom of the fifth for five runs and a 7-3 lead over the Rays. The Dodgers had a two-run homer by Enrique Hernandez in the first inning and Adrian Gonzalez two runs in the fifth.
“I know we lost but it wasn’t because of losing guys late,” the Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We did a lot of good things but we hit into some outs. I think every guy that played ball for us tonight got a hit and the hitting stopped with that game.”
That run was capped by a big throwing error by Rays’ centerfielder Mallex Smith. He muffed a shot that took a weird bounce off the wall and bounced back to his foot. Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded, tying the game at 2.
Next up in the bottom of the fifth was Kemp, who had reached on an error. He hit a ball deep in the gap in right-center. The ball fell over the wall for a solo home run, and the Dodgers took a 4-2 lead. A huge catch by leftfielder Chris Taylor in the fifth saved another run. It appeared as if a fourth-inning play could’ve put the Rays in a bigger hole.
Tampa Bay fell behind early. The Dodgers scored a pair of runs in the first on two hits. Hernandez singled to right field. Gonzalez doubled with one out. Then Kemp doubled to right-center, with the two men scoring.
Tampa Bay responded in the bottom of the first. The Rays scored a run off Dodgers starter Yu Darvish. DeJesus hit a double, scoring the first run. Then Peter Bourjos singled and scored on a single by Daniel Robertson. The Rays’ catcher looked like he got robbed on the throw from shortstop Corey Seager, but Justin Turner mishandled it and Seager committed a throwing error on the play, allowing the run to score. That run was answered by an RBI single by Justin Turner.
Rays starter Blake Snell left in the fourth after allowing four runs on four hits, striking out six over three innings. Snell missed his scheduled start in Game 2 due to a stiff neck. The Rays took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Cole Hamels replaced Snell.
The Dodgers reached Snell for three hits in the fifth. Conforto hit a home run to left-center off Hamels, scoring Seager. Hamels retired the next two batters. But the Rays put a run on the board. Cron doubled in Brad Miller, who had led off the inning with a single. It was the first run Snell had allowed in his last three starts, and the Rays took a 3-2 lead.
The Dodgers got a little scary in the bottom of the fifth when Smyly got hit in the face by a line drive from Seager. Smyly landed hard on the ground.
“He’s a tough kid,” Cash said. “Right after he landed, he was like, ‘There it is, got to lick this stuff up.’”
Smyly stayed in the game, got two strikeouts, and pitched out of the inning without further injury.
The Dodgers took the lead again in the bottom of the fifth.
Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning. He struck out four batters, including two with curveballs in succession, and got ground outs to second base by Evan Longoria and Betances.
Los Angeles took the lead in the top of the seventh. Seager led off with a single. It became a double when second baseman Daniel Robertson dropped a routine throw at third from Bourjos, putting runners on first and second with one out. But it didn’t take long for Seager to score on a double by Joc Pederson.