- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts found some positives in a loss to Tampa Bay.

After falling behind 8-2, the Dodgers put together a late rally but fell short.

“We got ourselves back in position,” Roberts said. “Had the tying run at the plate. We don’t quit.”

Steve Pearce hit one of four Tampa Bay homers, a go-ahead, three-run shot in the sixth inning that helped the Rays beat Los Angeles 8-5 on Wednesday night.

The Dodgers scored three times in the eighth after loading the bases with no outs to cut the deficit to 8-5. Chase Utley and Corey Seager each drove in a run with a walk, and Joc Pederson had a sacrifice fly.

The inning ended when Carl Crawford, a former star with the Rays, was struck out by Xavier Cedeno with two on.

“Even with the loss, there’s still some good things,” Roberts said. “I think that the offensive tide has turned.”

Los Angeles scored 15 runs in splitting the two-game interleague series. The Dodgers managed only 12 runs during a 1-6 homestand that ended Sunday.

Brandon Guyer, Steven Souza Jr. and Curt Casali each hit a solo home run for the Rays, who finished 4-4 on their homestand.

Pearce chased Alex Wood (1-3) with his third homer this season to put Tampa Bay ahead 5-2. All three have come in a span of 17 at-bats.

“I felt really good,” Wood said. “Just a few mistakes I made they put out of the park.”

Guyer homered in the first. Casali went deep during a three-run seventh as the Rays took an 8-2 lead.

“It was nice to be able to separate the game,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

Erasmo Ramirez (5-1) tossed two scoreless innings to get the win. Alex Colome pitched the ninth for his sixth save.

The Rays entered hitting a major league-low .221, but they have 34 homers. Tampa Bay has scored 47 of its 90 runs on homers.

Wood allowed five runs and six hits, including three homers, in five-plus innings. He had given up just one homer over 28 innings this year entering the game.

After the Dodgers tied it on a fourth-inning RBI single by Yasmani Grandal, Souza put the Rays up 2-1 in the bottom half with his sixth homer.

Souza has three hits in his last 23 at-bats, including 12 strikeouts. He left the game during a plate appearance in the sixth due to a spasm in his pectoral muscle.

Los Angeles pulled even at 2 in the sixth when Yasiel Puig scored on Ramirez’s wild pitch.

Drew Smyly allowed two runs and five hits over five-plus innings for the Rays.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (left shoulder surgery) and RHP Brandon McCarthy (Tommy John surgery) will throw off a mound Thursday in Los Angeles. … OF Scott Van Slyke (lower back irritation) will start baseball activity at the end of the week and could be back in early June.

AGE-OLD ARGUMENT

Roberts likes having the designated hitter this week, but favors keeping the DH in one league and out of the other. “I’m kind of status quo. I like it the way it is,” he said. “I think you can make an argument for both, from a fan’s perspective and a player’s perspective. So I think the way we have it now kind of lends itself to both.”

UP NEXT

Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-1) and Blue Jays opening day starter Marcus Stroman (4-0) are scheduled to pitch Friday night in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Toronto.

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