Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays lose to Orioles but encouraged by competitive play (w/video)

BALTIMORE — Coming close didn't make it any better for the Rays as they trudged out of the Camden Yards clubhouse after Sunday's 2-1 loss. But they had reason to feel good about how they showed against two AL playoff contenders, following a series win in Toronto by splitting four with the Orioles.

"We're playing well," manager Kevin Cash said. "We're giving teams a good game all the way to the end. We've won some of them and we've lost a couple tough ones."

Sunday's game was pitcher-heavy, with just three solo homers. Corey Dickerson hit one in the fifth off Darren O'Day to put the Rays ahead. Manny Machado hit one off Jake Odorizzi in the sixth to tie it. And Mark Trumbo hit his majors-leading 43rd off rookie Ryan Garton in the eighth to win it.

That was a big spot for Garton, the Mitchell High product, one Cash said he will benefit from being in. Garton wasn't quite ready for the bright side, lamenting a fastball that was supposed to be outside.

"Completely missed my spot," he said. "Center cut, center part of the plate. Those hitters like that, they don't miss. It's on me. Just got to be better."

Odorizzi gave the Rays his typical six solid innings and, as usual, got nothing for it. It was not only his majors-most and team-record-extending 16th no-decision but his 12th when allowing two or fewer earned runs, the most for any American League pitcher as far as back as records go, to 1913.

"I try to keep us close every time and not lose us the game," said Odorizzi (9-6, 3.73). "It's a quality outing as long as I'm keeping us within striking distance.

"No decisions happen, they just seem to happen a lot this year. It's a funky thing. But no-decisions are a lot better than losses last time I checked, so that's a good thing."

HOMER HAPPY: Dickerson's blast, the Rays' franchise-most 205th, extended their streak of games with homers to 14, matching their most in any season. It marked the first time they have homered in each game of a road trip of 10 or more games.

SOUZA SEEING SPECIALIST: OF Steven Souza Jr. will have his left hip examined by a specialist today in Nashville with the potential for season-ending surgery.

Souza has been bothered since June by hip issues, missing 17 games. He received an injection then from Dr. Thomas Byrd and is heading back on today's off day to decide on a course of action.

"I don't know what I'm going to hear," Souza said. "We're trying to figure out what the timetable is, if there is a need for some type procedure, on when to get it, whether to wait, whether to get it now or not get it at all."

Souza has been able to play on the hip, though with occasional discomfort, but is limited in weightlifting and other activities and concerned it may get worse.

"We know what's wrong — I have some kind of pinching going on caused by some irregular bone growth, and that's been going on since June," he said.

MORE MEDICAL: INF/OF Nick Franklin is scheduled for an MRI exam today on the left hamstring he strained Thursday, still very sore but hopeful he can return this season. "I don't think it's a major issue," Cash said. … 2B Logan Forsythe didn't start — though he pinch-hit in the ninth — with the idea of getting two days off after playing 12 straight. … LHP Enny Romero warmed up Sunday but has not pitched since misfiring on an intentional ball Sept. 10 in New York. He said his arm feels fine; Cash said there was "not really" any reason he hasn't been used. … Former Rays INF Steve Pearce, traded to the Orioles on Aug. 1, is headed for surgery on the right elbow that bothered him during the summer, and thus goes into free agency hoping to be ready by opening day.

MISCELLANY: The Rays went 5-6 on the seasonlong trip. … CF Kevin Kiermaier swiped third for his 18th straight successful steal, 20th overall. … C Bobby Wilson missed the game to attend a funeral and is expected back Tuesday. … The Rays' instructional league team begins a 12-game schedule today with a 1 p.m. game against the Orioles in Sarasota.

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