Thursday, November 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays hit four homers to beat Orioles, snap skid (w/ video)

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Scouts from a handful of teams searching for pitching help for a playoff push looked on Sunday from the seats behind home plate at Tropicana Field as Jake Odorizzi pitched against the Orioles.

Not that Odorizzi noticed or even cared.

"No," he said. "I think everybody's name is out there. I've been through it multiple times, so it doesn't really bother me any."

To prove his point, Odorizzi turned in one of his best starts of the season, allowing two runs in six innings during the Rays' 5-2 victory, which snapped an eight-game losing streak.

Odorizzi survived a rocky start — a single, double and sacrifice fly on his first five pitches of the game — to win for the first time since June 8 at Arizona and the first time at the Trop since Oct. 1.

The Rangers, who have been linked to a possible trade with the Rays for Odorizzi, had a scout at the game. So did the Pirates, Nationals and Dodgers.

Their reports will read that Odorizzi's elevated fastball was on-point, helping him escape trouble in the first and fifth innings; that he pitched to all four quadrants of the strike zone; that he was just as sharp in the sixth inning as he was in the first.

"He didn't panic," Rays manager Kevin Cash said about Odorizzi's ability to get out of trouble.

Odorizzi left runners at second and third in the first inning when he struck out Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo. He retired Manny Machado (grounder) and Davis (strikeout) in the third to strand a runner at second. He got Davis to fly out to centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier with the bases loaded to end the fifth.

"Everything felt good," Odorizzi said. "It was good to get through the sixth inning instead of stumbling in the sixth. Just felt like me again today. It's repeatable. Just go out and do it next time, too."

Odorizzi is one of several Rays of interest to contending teams. Scouts were also on hand to watch Chris Archer and Matt Moore pitch during the first two games of the series. Erasmo Ramirez has drawn interest, and the reliever enhanced his appeal by throwing two perfect innings Sunday with four strikeouts.

The pitching, unsettled in the first half of the season, settled down against the Orioles' potent offense (sixth in the majors in runs entering Sunday).

The starters were effective, and the bullpen did not allow a run during the series. A better showing by the offense and the Rays (35-56) might have stopped the losing streak before Sunday.

Odorizzi hoped to begin the second half of the season with an outing like the one he turned in Sunday. His goal is to repeat the performance this weekend when he faces the A's in Oakland, where he said he will again ignore the trade talk.

"It's familiar territory, and usually there's a lot more smoke than there is fire a lot of the times," Odorizzi said. "I'm a member of the team here. I have to keep on pitching and getting us wins. Whatever happens, happens."

     
Comments
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Updated: 3 hours ago
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Updated: 6 hours ago
As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

Presuming Alex Cobb declines the Rays’ one-year, $17.4-million qualifying offer by 5 p.m. today, he has pitched his last game for Tampa Bay.Cobb has received preliminary interest from "lots of teams" already, agent Dan Horwits said. The Cubs and Twin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made clear Thursday that identification of a site for a new Rays stadium is merely the first step for area leaders to show they want to keep the team long-term and that there needs to "consistent forward movement" on the ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Wednesday that the team is "genuinely excited" about the proposed Ybor City site for a new stadium and more than "cautiously optimistic" the project can be completed. But ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Rays journal: No big deals at GM meetings, but possible groundwork laid

By MARC TOPKINLAKE BUENA VISTA — Rays officials left the GM meetings without making any big deals — such as trading Alex Colome or Chris Archer to the Cardinals — but more knowledgeable about the possibilities. "Expectations were to utilize these few...
Published: 11/15/17
Watch: Brandy Halladay’s emotional tribute to her late husband, Roy

Watch: Brandy Halladay’s emotional tribute to her late husband, Roy

For his wife, Brandy, Roy Halladay was so much more than a standout pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies.During a a celebration of life ceremony Tuesday at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Brandy remembered Halladay — who died Nov...
Published: 11/15/17
Fennelly: Roy Halladay — father, husband, friend, ‘normal guy’

Fennelly: Roy Halladay — father, husband, friend, ‘normal guy’

CLEARWATER — It would have been a great day for a baseball game.The Spectrum Field grounds crew did its job. The basepaths were watered down with a hose. The baselines were drawn in chalk. The batter’s box was laid out. Home plate was cleaned. First,...
Updated: 5 hours ago