By Jon Weisman
After a rough week, the Dodgers tonight hit lefties and righties and starties and relievies — all the -ies.
Limited to 10 runs in their past six games, the Dodgers matched that total in a 10-5 victory at Tampa Bay.
Trayce Thompson drove in a career-high four runs with a two-run homer and a single, Howie Kendrick (4 for 5) delivered his long-awaited first extra-base hit, RBI and multi-hit game of the year and, in his first start of 2016 against a left-hander, Joc Pederson homered off Matt Moore.
Pederson’s homer went 440 feet, while Thompson’s all but defied the laws of gravity, becoming the sixth home run in Tropicana Park history to reach the catwalk inside the dome and never come back down.
Kendrick had eight hits all season before increasing that total by 50 percent tonight.
Yasiel Puig (2 for 5) topped off the Dodger scoring with a three-run homer in the ninth inning off Ryan Webb, who was in the Dodger organization for less than five days in April 2015, acquired in the deal that ultimately gave the Dodgers the rights to draft Josh Sborz in June.
Thompson, Pederson and Puig became the first trio of Dodger starting outfielders all to homer in the same game since Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez did so on April 13, 2010.
Scott Kazmir allowed two homers and four runs in 6 2/3 innings but struck out nine, his highest total since April 8, 2015. Kazmir walked one — the fifth time in six starts for the Dodgers he has walked one or fewer.
Joe Blanton needed only 10 pitches to get four outs in relief of Kazmir, but J.P. Howell struggled after getting the first two outs in the ninth, walking two, giving up a single and hitting Evan Longoria to force in a run. Kenley Jansen came in to get the one-out save — the fourth four-pitch save of his career.
The Dodgers won a series opener for the first time since April 15 against the Giants, and for the first time on the road since Opening Day.
A mighty fine night was had by all.