Saturday, June 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Odorizzi continues strong second half as Rays rout Yankees

NEW YORK — The Rays found the offense they've been seeking, hitting three homers Sunday, including three-run shots by Corey Dickerson and Nick Franklin, in a 12-3 sweep-avoiding win over the Yankees.

But it was another strong outing from RHP Jake Odorizzi that seemed more important as he continued his impressive post-All-Star turnaround, improving to 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA since the break. On Sunday, that meant working six innings and allowing three runs on five hits while featuring an effective curveball and a well-located fastball.

"I talked all the first half that I felt like it's coming, it's coming," said Odorizzi, now 7-5, 3.72 overall. "So it's good to have the results match how I'm feeling. It's reassuring, I guess."

Dickerson felt better as well, having come into the game hitless in his previous 17 at-bats and 3-for-35 in August and having worked extensively with the coaches to simplify his swing. The three-run opposite-field homer in the fourth was a good reward.

"It felt like a relief off your shoulders for sure, knowing you can kind of take a step back and trust yourself instead of forcing something — that's too hard to do up here," he said. "Just relax, have fun and play the game. No matter how hard it is, you've got to be able to see the baseball and have a good approach."

Evan Longoria added a three-run double in the fourth as the Rays took an 8-1 lead on the way to a 15-hit day. Logan Forsythe homered in the third (his fourth in his past eight games), and Franklin hit a three-run shot in the seventh. For the first time this season, every player in the starting lineup scored.

"We had a nice offensive approach and hit a lot of balls hard," manager Kevin Cash said.

FAN CLUB: Franklin was involved in a controversial play in the fifth when he was set to catch an inning-ending foul ball by the leftfield stands but a fan reached over and grabbed it — then taunted him. "I think he was excited,'' Franklin said. "He was laughing at me as if he just stole candy from a baby.'' The Rays got the last laugh as the umpires called interference, and replay supported it, for the out.

HIS KIND OF TOWN: With a 3-for-4, four-RBI afternoon, Longoria became the most prolific visiting player at the new Yankee Stadium, with 74 hits and 47 RBIs in 64 games. His 15 homers match Boston's David Ortiz for second most behind Toronto's Jose Bautista's 17.

MO BETTER: The Rays had plenty of nice things to say about former Yankees star closer Mariano Rivera, who was honored in a pregame ceremony with a plaque to be added to Monument Park. Cash, who caught briefly for the Yankees in 2009, marveled about Rivera's trademark cutter, saying "you can still make the argument it's probably the best pitch that's ever been thrown." RHP Kevin Jepsen said: "He's the greatest reliever ever. To be able to say that without hesitation speaks for itself."

REHAB REPORT: LHP Enny Romero (back strain) is scheduled to throw a simulated game at the Trop this afternoon and, if all is well, start a rehab assignment later this week. … OF Oswaldo Arcia (right elbow strain) and 1B Logan Morrison (right forearm strain) took Sunday off in their rehabs with advanced Class A Charlotte and will be re-evaluated today at the Trop. … RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) makes what could be his last rehab outing Tuesday for the Stone Crabs. … RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) makes his next start Tuesday for Durham.

MISCELLANY: The Rays scored in double digits for the eighth time, most since 2013. … First-pitch temperature was 95 for the second straight day, with an in-game feels-like of 104. … Though the Rays have played the Padres only twice in the past nine seasons, there is plenty of familiarity as they have made four trades involving 20 players. … After logging 11 Ks on Saturday, Triple-A Durham RHP Jamie Schultz leads all minor-leaguers with 149 strikeouts (in 122 innings) and is 5-5, 3.02 overall.

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