Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays starter Odorizzi has better effort against Giants

ST. PETERSBURG — Wins continue to elude RHP Jake Odorizzi, but he left Tropicana Field on Sunday feeling much better about his effort after allowing a run in six innings during the Rays' 5-1 loss to the Giants.

"I felt more like myself, just kind of back to normal form as opposed to fighting myself," he said. "It was good to get that feel again, know what it's like to get back throwing normal."

Odorizzi went back to throwing his cutter to give the Giants hitters a different look, and it worked. Brandon Belt homered in the fourth inning for the only real blemish on Odorizzi's record. A better job by the offense and Odorizzi might have left with a victory.

It was his major league-leading ninth no-decision this season and 11th start this season in which he received three or fewer runs of support. Odorizzi has allowed one or fewer runs in six starts this season. Five of those ended in no-decisions.

"It's going to happen," Odorizzi said of the no-decision. "I just wanted to limit the damage."

Cedeno struggles: Lefties were 0-for-14 against LHP Xavier Cedeno until Gregor Blanco opened the eighth inning with a single to rightfield. That began a four-batter sequence in which lefties went 2-for-2 and had a sacrifice bunt and a walk against Cedeno, who lost for only the second time this season.

"Those left-handers, some of them had seen him the night before and they came up with a pretty good approach going out there trying to get the cutter," manager Kevin Cash said. "It worked to their advantage, and they got aggressive and looked for that first pitch, because he's not a guy you want to fall behind to, and they jumped on those first pitches for some big hits and that's pretty much the ball game."

Cedeno faced the same four batters Saturday and retired all four. Joe Panik's RBI single snapped Cedeno's scoreless streak of seven innings over six appearances.

A bunt single: CF Desmond Jennings bunted his way on to start the second inning, though he needed replay to overturn the original out call.

It was the Rays' first bunt for a hit since Asdrubal Cabrera on Aug. 21, 2015 at Oakland, snapping a streak of 106 games without one.

Home cooking? The Rays lost the final four games of a 4-5 homestand. That means it will be at least July before they win a homestand.

"We got to find a way to win at home," Cash said. "We won the first two series, and then this one, to get swept, it is disappointing. It is frustrating. That's a good team (Giants) over there. But we got to play better."

The Rays are 15-20 at the Trop.

Boxy update: RHP Brad Boxberger (left oblique strain) is scheduled to play catch today for the first time since May 31 when he sustained the injury while pitching at Kansas City.

Noteworthy: The Orlando Rays hats worn during Friday's Pride Night tribute to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting victims have been autographed and will be auctioned from noon to 8 p.m. today and again June 26 at raysbaseball.com/auction … Sunday's attendance of 17,361 brought the three-day total to 81,444, the largest for a three-game series since the Rays and Yankees drew 86,389 in August 2014. Pride Night drew 40,135.

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