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Odorizzi, Longoria lead Rays past Marlins (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — If RHP Jake Odorizzi had things his way, the 2015 season probably would have played out a little differently.

The way it concluded Thursday night, however, is something he is happy to accept. Odorizzi tossed seven strong innings in his final start as the Rays beat the Marlins 4-1 to cap a three-game sweep before an announced 9,657 at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay (78-81) surpassed its win total from last season and moved into a three-way tie with the Orioles and Red Sox for third place in the AL East.

"He's probably been as consistent as any starter we've had," manager Kevin Cash said of Odorizzi, who missed a little more than a month during the summer because of a strained oblique.

"Unfortunately, the injury … hurt us, hurt him. It took him a couple starts to get back feeling good again, but it's nice the way he finished and obviously something he can build off of."

Odorizzi (9-9, 3.35 ERA) held Miami (69-90) hitless through four innings before Marcell Ozuna reached on a single to lead off the fifth. He yielded one unearned run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Evan Longoria hit a long solo shot to leftfield in the first off Alonso High product Jose Fernandez and followed up in the seventh with an RBI double. Grady Sizemore and J.P. Arencibia also drove in runs on singles in the second and seventh, respectively.

"From a personal standpoint, I feel really good about the body of work I've put together this year considering missing a month," Odorizzi said.

SPECIAL K: CF Kevin Kiermaier made another highlight-reel play in the seventh to preserve a 2-1 Rays lead.

On a two-out single to center by Ichiro Suzuki, Kiermaier threw to Arencibia at the plate to tag out J.T. Realmuto, who was trying to score from second base. Kiermaier has an MLB-best 15 outfield assists this season.

"It would be a crime if he doesn't win a Gold Glove," Odorizzi said. "He surprises us still. I think we take for granted the plays that he makes."

FORSYTHE SITS AGAIN: Cash said 2B Logan Forsythe (bruised right foot) was "moving around much better" and took some swings in the batting cage, but he wasn't feeling completely ready to return to the lineup.

"I don't know how much sense it makes to just stick him back out there when he's not feeling close to 100 percent," Cash said.

Nick Franklin started for the second consecutive night and went 0-for-4.

HELPING HAND: The team's annual Shirts Off Our Backs charitable campaign starts tonight, culminating with Sunday's jersey giveaway. … About 40 players from the Puerto Rico-based Next Level America Academy players presented C Rene Rivera with a medal for mentoring them in the offseason.

MISCELLANY: The Rays earned their first series sweep of three or more games since July 10-12 against Houston. … Fernandez suffered his first loss since May 9, 2014 — his final start before Tommy John surgery.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

Odorizzi, Longoria lead Rays past Marlins (w/video) 10/01/15 [Last modified: Friday, October 2, 2015 8:09am]
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