Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays lose 1-0 in 13 innings to A's

OAKLAND, Calif. — A night that featured a very good start by Jake Odorizzi ended very badly for the Rays in a 1-0 13-inning loss to the A's.

Coco Crisp knocked in the winning run with a one-out single off Rays rookie Dylan Floro, scoring Ryon Healy, who led off with a double down the line.

"When it ends like that, it's always frustrating,'' Floro said. "I want to be in those situations. I want to get a chance out there. ... When you give up a drive down the line, you've got to find a way to get out of it. ...

"When you see a guy pitch really well like that the least you want to do is try to a get a 'W' at the end of the night.''

The loss, final around 1:40 a.m. Tampa Bay time, ended the Rays' modest three-game winning streak, dropping their record to 38-58.

Odorizzi enhanced his trade value with a dazzling start, allowing just five singles over a career-high matching eight innings with no walks, striking out five.

"I don't know what more I could've done,'' Odorizzi said. "I just tried to match their guy pitch for pitch, inning for inning, keep it 0-0 and give us a chance to win. I thought I did that, and it makes my job a little bit easier when the defense played so well like it did tonight.''

The problem for the Rays was that A's starter Sean Manaea, a rookie lefty with a funky delivery, was just as good.

"Needless to say, Odo was exceptional,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Their guy was really good, too. I thought we competed really well. That guy gave us fits on the mound, their left-hander, not a ton of good swings on our part.''

Odorizzi's biggest jam came in the eighth, though it wasn't his doing. There was a clear failure to communicate between shortstop Tim Beckham and centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier on a pop up to shallow centerfield by Yonder Alonso. The ball actually dropped into and then out of Kiemaier's glove as he went "into panic mode" and lunged forward at the last second to try to make the play. "I still don't know how I dropped it,'' Kiermaier said.

Healy followed with a single to put the runners on the corner, but Odorizzi remained stout and got pinch-hitter Danny Valencia on a foul pop to end the inning.

Odorizzi got some help from the Rays defense as well. Catcher Luke Maile made a good throw and Beckham a nifty tag to nail Arismendy Alcantara trying to steal to end the third, Logan Forsythe made a sharp play up the middle to get a forceout that ended the fourth and Brandon Guyer made a running/sliding/diving catch on a liner in the seventh.

"The highlight for us was Odo,'' Cash said. "What an outstanding effort on his part.''

Odorizzi, who has been scouted heavily by several teams, showed a more lively fastball and a changeup that was markedly better.

"My changeup has gotten a lot better in the second half, the movement of it and the difference in speed is close to what it was last year,'' Odorizzi said. "I said in the first half that once that kind of clicks everything should go back to normal and so far – obviously it's a small sample size, two starts – but I felt like my old self and it showed.''

The Rays couldn't do much against Manaea, whose funky delivery seemed to create some additional deception, rapping just five hits over eight innings.

They didn't get their first until two outs in the fifth when Corey Dickerson, one of the two lefties in their lineup, singled to right. Beckham then hustled his way to an infield single to put two on, but Kiermaier grounded out to first.

"Anyone can say this, but if I would've got a hit right there ... , '' Kiermaier said. "It's one of those things where if you just do one thing right in a key situation, that's the game changer. ... It's frustrating, especially being on the losing side.''

They got another chance in the eighth when Kiermaier singled and went to second on a bunt, but Logan Forsythe lined out, with Kiermaier advancing to third, and Brandon Guyer flied out.

In a way, the Rays can blame themselves for their struggles against Manaea. Had the Rays not traded Ben Zobrist to the A's in January of 2015, then the A's wouldn't have had Zobrist to trade to the Royals in July for Manaea, a 2013 first-round pick.

The Rays escaped trouble in the 11th when the A's loaded the bases, Erasmo Ramirez allowing a leadoff single and a two-out walk, then Enny Romero walking Josh Reddick. Cash turned to Kevin Jepsen and he got them out of it with one pitch — one "nasty" pitch,'' he said — getting Khris Davis to ground into a forceout at second.

They got out of another jam in the 12th, when Floro allowed two one-out singles, then got Alonso to hit into a double play.

Floro was the Rays fifth reliever of the night, following Xavier Cedeno, Ramirez, Romero and Jepsen. He was working a second inning as Cash indicated he was saving Matt Andriese to be available today when Drew Smyly starts, and preferred to use closer Alex Colome with a lead.

This was the 12th time the Rays went into extra innings in a scoreless game, and the 10th time they lost.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

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