Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lueke falters as Rays drop Odorizzi's debut, 7-5

TORONTO — Managing for the future cost the Rays a game in the present Monday.

The start by Jake Odorizzi, the 23-year-old called up to take injured David Price's spot in the rotation, wasn't the problem, as he settled down to work five decent innings.

It was after that, when manager Joe Maddon put the game in the hands of another inexperienced pitcher recently brought up from Triple-A Durham, and Josh Lueke couldn't handle it.

The result was a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays that ended the momentum the Rays (23-21) gathered from the sweep in Baltimore, and also featured some controversy in Yunel Escobar's return to Toronto and another bad call by the umpires.

But most telling was that it showed a glimpse of Maddon's thinking, with some of his other relievers struggling and a concern about over-using Joel Peralta, in giving Lueke an opportunity in the seventh inning of a 3-3 game.

"He had been doing so well," Maddon said. "He gets through that inning, he's walking like King Kong coming off that mound. It didn't work out that way. But you have to understand, you cannot kill your bullpen this early in the season. Everyone has to contribute."

Lueke, who had allowed only one hit in his first four appearances, wasn't up to it.

"Basically, I didn't show up with my 'A game' and bring my best stuff to go out there to compete," Lueke said.

Facing the bottom third of the order, Lueke walked the bases loaded, putting on the Nos. 7 and, after a bunt, 9 hitters then, after a hard liner to left, Jose Bautista to load the bases. (He'd walked only four unintentionally in 19 innings at Durham.) Then he gave up a three-run smash into the leftfield corner by Edwin Encarnacion, making it 6-3.

Maddon, who had already used Jake McGee in the sixth, could have made a move once Lueke had two on with the top of the order coming up, either to Peralta ("This is not kill Joel Peralta year," he said), Kyle Farnsworth (who once had that role but has been struggling) or Jamey Wright (also struggling).

But he said he had already decided "those were (Lueke's) outs to get."

"For us to be really successful, other guys in the bullpen have to do what they're supposed to do," he said. "So Lueke's been doing great. I'm looking at that particular moment as a wonderful growth moment for him."

Lueke, 28, said he had some trouble getting used to the Rogers Centre mound, then didn't have command of his pitches.

"It just snowballed," he said. "I guess you can say it was a mental/physical letdown for myself and obviously everybody, because everybody's been pulling for me, and put me in that situation. I was so excited to get in there, I kind of got ahead of myself."

Odorizzi had some similar issues, a bit too excited in what turned into a difficult 29-pitch first inning, including a 12-pitch at-bat with Adam Lind, that led to two Toronto runs.

He gave up another in the third — thanks in part to what on replays looked like a badly blown call by C.B. Bucknor, saying Henry Blanco was safe even though Ben Zobrist had tagged him — then settled down, retiring 10 of his last 11.

Maddon said he was pleased overall, impressed with Odorizzi's curveball and some additional velocity — up to 93 mph — on his fastball, and didn't want to push Odorizzi past the 92 pitches.

Odorizzi, who had the experience of two September starts for the Royals, who traded him this offseason, said overall it went okay.

"I take the positives out of it," he said. "Besides that first inning I thought everything was pretty good. Could have been better in certain situations. It was all right, but there's room for improvement, that's for sure."

It was that kind of day.

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.

Lueke falters as Rays drop Odorizzi's debut, 7-5 05/20/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.