Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi in control in victory

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi's velocity was up Sunday, and his control was sharp.

"As long as I can get ahead and take control of the at-bats, usually good things happen," Odorizzi (right) said.

Good things, for the most part, happened for Odorizzi, who held the Red Sox hitless through the first five innings and earned the win in the Rays' 3-2 victory.

He walked DH Dustin Pedroia, the second batter of the game, then retired the next 14. That run was spoiled by a leadoff walk to Brock Holt in the sixth, then a home run to right-center by Jackie Bradley that tied the score at 2. Odorizzi limited the damage when he retired the next three batters.

A home run by Jesus Sucre in the bottom of the inning proved to be the winning run.

It was the second time in his past three starts that Odorizzi (9-8) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He said he was aware of it, too,

"Everyone's pretty aware when they're out there and you feel good," Odorizzi said. "It's unfortunate that it ended that way, but it did. It's all right."

Bradley's homer was the 30th allowed this season by Odorizzi, making him the sixth pitcher in franchise history to allow that many in one year.

The game also marked the seventh time in his career he has pitched at least six innings and allowed one hit. That's the most in franchise history.

Odorizzi's six innings were the most by a Rays starter since Sept. 5, when he worked 62/3 against the Twins.

Sucre to the rescue

Sucre answered Bradley's tying home run in the sixth with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning that stood as the winning run. It was his sixth of the season, and came against fellow Venezuelan LHP Eduardo Rodriguez.

The two, Sucre said, are close friends.

"When I got my first hit (in the fifth), he was looking at me when I was on second base and he was like, 'I'm not going to throw you a fastball.' So he did, he threw me a fastball right there," Sucre said. "I got a pretty good swing on it."

Number of the day

.444 CF Kevin Kiermaier's batting average in the first inning since he moved to leadoff. He's 12-for-27 with a pair of home runs.

Quote of the day

"He hit a home run. That's pretty self-explanatory."

Odorizzi when asked what happened on the pitch Bradley hit for a two-run homer.

Have a day, Cesar

LF Cesar Puello got the start in leftfield against Rodriguez and responded with the first three-hit game of his career.

"Comfortable at-bats," manager Kevin Cash said.

The right-handed Puello, who has received more starts lately with the Rays facing an unusual number of lefty starters, was hitless in his past 14 at-bats entering the game.

"A couple of those (starts) are tied with (Red Sox ace LHP) Chris Sale, and that's not really ideal," Cash said, "because it doesn't really matter if you're lefty or righty."

Miscellany

. LHP Xavier Cedeno (left arm tightness) is scheduled to pitch an inning Tuesday for Durham during the Triple-A championship game.

. Evan Longoria served as the DH and drove in two runs, with RBI singles in the first and fifth innings.

. RHP Tommy Hunter had retired 20 straight batters before allowing a two-out infield single in the eighth inning.

. The Rays snapped a six-game losing streak against left-handed starters.

Comments
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