Jennings snaps funk, falls 3B shy of cycle

Jennings snaps funk, falls 3B shy of cycle

PHOENIX -- Desmond Jennings' struggles this season have been well-documented.

Prior to the Rays' 6-4 win over the D-backs on Monday, Jennings had only two hits in his previous 26 at-bats, dating back to May 20. The outfielder started only five of the club's previous 15 games. He was criticized last week by Rays' TV analyst Brian Anderson for his poor play.

Jennings' numbers -- or lack thereof -- have some wondering about his future with the club.

But something funny happened on Monday night. Jennings had three hits, two RBIs and scored two runs. He finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

"It was all about the offense tonight," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Desmond Jennings broke out and that was great to see. Good for him. [Taylor Motter] had a big game at the plate. [Tim Beckham] had a big game at the plate. A lot of guys that have been grinding through it really showed up well."

Jennings discusses big day

The victory was the fourth in a row for the Rays, and they'll need more contributions from Jennings -- along with everyone else -- if they want to keep the winning streak alive.

Jennings singled in the fourth and hit a ground-rule double that scored Evan Longoria in the fifth to extend Tampa Bay's lead to 4-2. Jennings smashed a solo home run off the foul in left field in the seventh to push the Rays' ahead, 6-3.

"It's going to take all of us to get where we want to be," Jennings told FOX Sports Florida on the field in a postgame interview. "You expect [Longoria] and Logan [Morrison], but they are not going to be able to do it by themselves. I feel like everybody is going to have to contribute."

Jennings' ground-rule RBI double

Jennings, who declined to speak with reporters in the clubhouse, grounded out to third baseman Jake Lamb in his first at-bat of the game in the second inning. He walked on six pitches in his final at-bat in the ninth inning.

"Things were headed in the wrong direction for us for a while and it's good to be on the winning side," Jennings told the television station. "I'm just trying to get on the field and get some live action and go from there."

The Rays will send Matt Moore to the mound in the second game of the series Tuesday. The D-backs will counter with Zack Greinke.

"You can't rely on just one or two guys and it has to be a collective team effort," left fielder Mikie Mahtook said. "We have the ability and talent to win a lot of games and score a lot of runs. I think tonight was one of those nights, and I think we showed that and going forward we are going to continue to improve and do what we have been doing and make a run at this thing."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.