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  1. Rays

Messy second inning costly in Rays' loss to Orioles

Published Apr. 11, 2016

BALTIMORE — The four runs that RHP Jake Odorizzi allowed in the second inning Sunday pretty much made the difference in a 5-3 loss to the Orioles.

Worse was how it happened, as some messy, if not sloppy, play contributed.

"That one inning kind of got a little away from us in the fact that we just couldn't stop it," manager Kevin Cash said.

The first hit was a grounder by Pedro Alvarez through the right side that 2B Logan Forsythe grabbed in short right but made a hurried, wide throw that 1B Steve Pearce couldn't handle. The second was a ball Jonathan Schoop laced to left that Corey Dickerson, making his first start in the outfield, slid to stop and misplayed, allowing Alvarez to score. Then Odorizzi tried, and failed, to backhand a slow roller by Hyun Soo Kim, putting runners on first and third with one out.

That hurt when Joey Rickard, the Rule 5 pick from the Rays, delivered a sac fly to make it 2-0. It hurt much worse when Manny Machado lashed a two-run homer.

"There was definitely some odd stuff going on," Cash said. "But those are things we need to find a way to overcome."

Tampa Bay had a chance, loading the bases in the eighth inning against tough RHP Darren O'Day with Brad Miller's first hit of the season (ending an 0-for-16) and good walks by Steven Souza Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier, but pinch-hitter Hank Conger struck out.

THE ARCH WAY: RHP Chris Archer said there is "zero" wrong and finds the concern over a slight drop in his velocity during a rough first two starts "comical."

"I've seen some headlines, and it's comical," he said, "because I was throwing 92-96 (mph) last game instead of 94-97, and it's a big deal. My slider was 85-88 instead of 86-90 and it's a big deal. And I don't know why. I think people just need something to talk about, something to write about, something to justify me not having the greatest start."

PITCHING IN: With LHP Drew Smyly going through a full warmup before Saturday's game was called off, the Rays pushed his next outing to Wednesday, giving him eight days between starts. The Rays already had decided to push Archer back to Thursday, giving him an extra, fifth, day before his next start.

And the Rays will have to make another adjustment, dropping in a fifth starter on either Friday or Saturday as they are playing six straight days. That could be using RHP Erasmo Ramirez and several other relievers on a bullpen day, or it could be calling up RHP Matt Andriese, though his scheduled would also have to be changed as he pitched Friday and was lined up for Wednesday.

JUMPING JOEY: Rickard has come a long way since opening the 2015 season with the Rays' advanced Class A Stone Crabs team. He made it to Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham by August, and after being left exposed in the Rule 5 draft, he was taken by the Orioles and made the jump to the majors.

"Yeah, I'm not complaining," said Rickard, 24. "I was the starting leftfielder there, and now I'm the starting leftfielder here. It's been pretty special. … I'm just trying to make the best of it."

So far, so good as he has gotten off to a sizzling start, hitting .444 (8-for-18) and becoming a favorite of the Orioles fans, who chant "Jo-ey, Jo-ey, Jo-ey."

MAKING UP: Archer, the player rep, said the most likely makeup date for Saturday is a doubleheader during the June 24-26 visit. Both teams are off June 23, but that is the Rays' only open date between June and the July 11 start of the All-Star break. "We don't want to play 27 days in a row," Archer said.

MISCELLANY: The Rays have homered in a team-record 20 straight games, the longest streak by any team since the 2013 Mariners did 23, and in their past nine at Camden Yards. … Cash challenged and got overturned a safe call on a fifth-inning pickoff at first, improving to 4-0 with replay.

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