Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays shut out Mariners for second straight win

SEATTLE — All the dramatics and heroics of Tuesday night's come-from-behind victory over the Mariners would have been nearly for naught had the Rays not followed up on Wednesday.

And though it wasn't easy — a 2-0 squeaker in which they scored on a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch while rapping only three hits, and lost second baseman Ben Zobrist for likely a few weeks with a dislocated thumb — they got it done. With another strong start from reconstructed Jake Odorizzi, who took a no-hitter into the sixth, and enough support from the bullpen and defense, they feel like they are finally heading in the right direction.

"We knew things would get better," Odorizzi said. "And now it's getting to that next stage, put some things together and go on a good run. Every team does it, and hopefully this is our time when we start getting things going in the right direction. We can be right back in front of this thing as quickly as we were down here."

The back-to-back wins, their first since May 1-2 as they'd lost seven of nine, improved the last-place Rays to 18-23, and more importantly for their psyche to within 3½ games of the first-place Orioles.

"That's called a streak right there; anyone can win one, when you win two it's a streak," closer Grant Balfour cracked. "Every game you win builds a little more confidence among the team."

Odorizzi played a huge part, building on his strong showing in Friday's no-decision against Cleveland by sticking to a simplified game plan called by catcher Ryan Hanigan that relied on mixing his pitches well.

"It's just better utilization of all the stuff," manager Joe Maddon said. "Better game planning. … Knowing what he's going to do before he goes out there matters."

Odorizzi didn't have command of his slow curve, but he used it as bait and relied primarily on his fastball. He walked the first batter then pretty much sailed, allowing one more walk then his lone hit with two outs in the sixth while striking out eight. He won, and got through six innings, for the first time since April 4.

"It's encouraging to see the results keep coming. It's a process, a learning process," he said. "I learned a lot during that tough stretch I went on. Learn what to do, how to use stuff, different things for different situations. Being through that situation makes these ones more special."

The Rays got their runs in a fourth-inning rally, such as it was, that featured one hit, a one-out single by Evan Longoria, followed by a fielder's choice grounder by James Loney.

Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings drew walks off Brandon Maurer to load the bases, then Yunel Escobar delivered what he called "a great at-bat," falling behind 0-and-2 then battling through seven more pitches to draw a walk, forcing in a run. The second scored when reliever Dominic Leone's second pitch bounced through catcher John Buck's legs, allowing Myers to race home.

The Rays protected it in the field, Longoria dazzling in starting a seventh-inning double play, and from the mound.

"We're trying to get out of this little hole that we put ourselves in, and every win now is a good win," Escobar said through bench coach Dave Martinez. "This ain't over 'til October."

. Up next

at Angels

Tonight-Sunday

What's new: Despite having two key players, OF Josh Hamilton and 3B David Freese, among their eight on the DL, the Angels on Wednesday won their fifth in six games then flew home from Philadelphia to face the Rays. The offense, featuring OF Mike Trout and 1B/DH Albert Pujols, has been a big part of their improvement, ranking among the AL leaders in runs and homers. The pitching has been better, too, though the bullpen is a bit of an issue, with Ernesto Frieri and Joe Smith sharing closing duties, as they've blown five saves.

Key stat: The Rays have won 15 of their past 19 games in Anaheim (going back to May 2010) after winning of five of their first 41.

Connections: Rays manager Joe Maddon spent 31 years in the Angels organization, last 12 as a major-league coach; 1B coach George Hendrick, RHP Joel Peralta, INF Sean Rodriguez are also former Angels. … Hamilton was a top Rays prospect, pitching coach Mike Butcher had that job with Rays, injured RHP Dane De La Rosa is a former Ray.

Series history: Angels lead 83-61 overall, 45-29 in Anaheim.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays shut out Mariners for second straight win 05/14/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …