Zimmer's first big league homer comes in Cleveland loss
CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer — his third homer in two days — and Alex Cobb controlled Cleveland over seven as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Indians 7-4 on Wednesday to complete their most successful road trip in a year.
Dickerson connected in the second inning off Josh Tomlin (2-5) and Logan Morrison hit a solo shot in the third for Tampa Bay, which went 4-2 on a swing through Boston and Cleveland. It's the Rays' first winning trip since last May.
Cobb (4-3) allowed three runs and six hits while throwing 115 pitches on an unseasonably warm day. He retired the last eight batters he faced.
Jesus Sucre also homered for the Rays, who hit 10 in Cleveland, the most in team history for a three-game series.
Indians rookie Bradley Zimmer hit his first career homer in the ninth, and Jason Kipnis almost got one but Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier robbed him with a leaping catch for the final out.
While the Rays found their swing on the road, Edwin Encarnacion remains in a hitting funk for Cleveland.
The slumping slugger struck out looking with the bases loaded in the third and again with one on in the fifth. Encarnacion, who signed a three-year, $60 million free agent contract — the richest in team history — is batting just .203 and in a 2 for 23 slide.
Encarnacion is also batting only .108 (4 for 37) with runners in scoring position.
After Dickerson homered twice in a five-homer barrage in Tuesday's win, Tampa Bay came out swinging against Tomlin, who struck out five straight before giving up three consecutive two-out hits — the last a double by Sucre — to take a 1-0 lead.
Dickerson, who came in tied for the AL lead in hits, followed with his ninth homer, a towering shot into the right-field seats.
Tomlin got the first out in the third before Morrison blasted his 11th homer into the Indians' bullpen. When Steven Souza Jr. missed a homer to straightaway center by inches, Indiana manager Terry Francona pulled Tomlin before the Rays could do further damage.
The Indians got two runs back in the third on Zimmer's first major-league hit, an RBI double, and an RBI single by Kipnis.
Cleveland could have gotten more after loading the bases, but Encarnacion watched Cobb's third strike go by and briefly looked at plate umpire Ben May in disbelief before heading to the dugout.
With a runner at second and two out in the fifth, Encarnacion got fooled again by Cobb and went down without swinging.
Rays: Starting 2B Brad Miller (strained left abdominal muscle) missed his second straight game and will be examined by a doctor before Friday's series opener against the Yankees.
Indians: OF Abraham Almonte will be out for at least three weeks with a strained right biceps. There were initial fears he might need surgery, but the club said an MRI revealed "a high grade" strain. ... OF Austin Jackson ran the bases before the game. He's on the disabled list with a hyperextended left toe.
Rays: Tampa will have its only day off in May before opening a three-game series at home Friday with RHP Erasmo Ramirez facing the Yankees. Ramirez just rejoined the rotation after Blake Snell was sent to the minors.
Indians: Cleveland begins a three-game series in Houston on Friday with Trevor Bauer making his 100th career start. The right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.61 ERA in six outings against the Astros.