ST. PETERSBURG — Jake Odorizzi said he wasn't frustrated despite throwing strike after strike to Billy Burns in the first inning only to see Burns foul off nearly each pitch.
And Odorizzi said the epic encounter only two batters into the game didn't affect the rest of the inning, even though the A's reached Odorizzi for two home runs and scored all the runs they needed Friday to beat the Rays.
Still, the long first inning did in Odorizzi and the Rays — well, that and more empty at-bats with the bases loaded.
The result was a 6-3 loss in front of 14,604 at Tropicana Field during the first game of the three-game series.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Rays (15-18) and it came against a team that allowed a total of 51 runs in its previous four games.
Burns started the four-run first with a single past shortstop Brad Miller that capped off 14-pitch at-bat that included 11 foul balls.
"I'm sure that can be pretty disheartening," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Burnsie, that at-bat, give that guy some credit. He kind of set the tone that inning. I'm not going to say it wore Jake down, but I can't imagine how it doesn't frustrate Jake because it frustrates us in the dugout. He basically took an inning away from him in the second at-bat of the game."
Odorizzi, who snapped his string of five straight no-decisions with his second loss of the year, pitched four innings. He threw 97 pitches, 70 for strikes. He needed 42 pitches to get out of the first. Of those, 31 were strikes.
The inning included a three-run homer by Khris Davis and a solo homer off the C-ring catwalk in leftfield by Danny Valencia.
And it all began with Burns' one-out at-bat.
Odorizzi said Burns' hit was no more frustrating than had it come on the first pitch of the at-bat.
"A hit is a hit." Odorizzi said. "I felt I made good pitches and that's all I can do. The result is the result, but I can control what I can control, and I thought it did that for every pitch in that at-bat, to be honest. I made him foul off some good pitches. He barely touched some good pitches, and he did his job. I just have to tip my hat to him and say, 'good at-bat.' Move on to the next one, and I felt I did that. I thought in threw some quality pitches. Some were rewarded, and some were not."
Odorizzi allowed three home runs, matching his total from his first seven starts.
Tampa Bay's offense almost took him off the hook for the loss, scoring twice in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles by Steve Pearce and Steven Souza Jr. But they left the bases loaded.
"Wish we would have gotten another one or two there," Cash said.
The Rays also left the bases loaded in the ninth against Oakland closer Ryan Madson.