Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boxberger strikes out side on nine pitches

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Brad Boxberger didn't realize at the time exactly what he was doing, coming into the game Thursday with the bases loaded and then striking out the next three Orioles on nine pitches total.

"I was just trying to go out there and get the first guy and whatever happened after that happened,'' Boxberger said. "But it worked out pretty well.''

And it may take some time to sort out exactly what he accomplished, but initial word from the Elias Sports Bureau, although with pitch-count data incomplete, was that there is no record of any pitcher doing so before. "I hope so,'' Boxberger said. "That would be pretty cool.''

Said starter David Price, who left the sixth-inning mess: "That was incredible. I don't know if that's ever been done.''

JAKE'S DILEMMA: The result of the problems RHP Jake Odorizzi is having on the mound are obvious, as he tends to do very well the first time through the batting order and very badly once hitters see him again.

But the cause is somewhat of a mystery, as Odorizzi insists he isn't doing anything differently and manager Joe Maddon said there is no detectable decline in the velocity or quality of his pitches, though the location varies.

So as Odorizzi takes the mound tonight, the Rays have instructed him to stick with a simpler game plan designed to get quick outs and focus on execution of his pitches.

"A lot of times when guys are in a bad moment they tend to want to look for a convoluted explanation in regard to what's wrong and how do I fix it," Maddon said. "I much prefer a more simple approach."

The first time through the lineup, Odorizzi has allowed a solid .140 average and .389 on-base plus slugging percentage. But after that, the numbers are downright ugly, a .475 average and 1.290 OPS.

"It's not as awful as it appears," Maddon insisted. "We just have to game-plan a little better, see a better mix of what he's doing and see if we get better results with that."

Hickey tossed: Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey had a short night, ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster after the top of the first, having argued a checked-swing call on Baltimore cleanup hitter Adam Jones. It was Hickey's second career ejection, first since May 2009.

Peralta power: Maddon said he wants struggling veteran reliever RHP Joel Peralta to throw his fastball more, and Peralta agreed that doing so should help. But Peralta wants something too, and that is the chance to pitch more regularly, and Maddon said he likely will agree to that.

"I think I need to pitch more, more consistently," said Peralta.

Executive VP Andrew Friedman came by Peralta's locker Thursday afternoon to pass on some data on his fastball but also to give him a bit of a welcomed pat on the back. And Peralta retired the two batters he faced.

Catching on: Jose Molina was behind the plate Thursday like usual when Price starts, though Maddon said for now he plans to use Ryan Hanigan roughly two of every three games.

Through the first 34 games, Hanigan started 22 and Molina 12.

Medical matters: RHP Alex Cobb (oblique strain) will throw a three-inning, 45-pitch simulated game today then progress to four innings and 60 pitches on Monday in Port Charlotte, with the possibility of beginning a two- or three-start rehab assignment after that. He is targeting a late May return. … RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow surgery) felt good after his Wednesday bullpen session and will throw again Saturday, but he has yet to resume throwing curveballs after experiencing irritation doing so in early April. He is targeting a late June return.

Miscellany: Team president Matt Silverman, OF Wil Myers, OF Brandon Guyer and Maddon will attend the Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon today at the Marriott Waterside; for tickets see

Boxberger strikes out side on nine pitches 05/08/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.