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Rays' Jake Odorizzi struggles again in loss to Red Sox (w/video)

Jake Odorizzi has allowed 20 home runs this season and at least one in 13 straight starts.
Jake Odorizzi has allowed 20 home runs this season and at least one in 13 straight starts.
Published Jul. 8, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — Funny thing about big wins, huge wins, massive wins during an early July series between division rivals: There is always the next game, and the next game didn't go so well for the Rays.

The high of Thursday's victory, when rookie Jacob Faria went toe-to-toe with Red Sox All-Star Chris Sale during the start of this four-game series, was replaced by Friday's low, when Jake Odorizzi couldn't get through five innings.

The first-place Red Sox rolled to an 8-3 victory, dropping the Rays to 45-43 overall and 5½ games back in the American League East as the teams edge toward Monday's All-Star break.

Odorizzi, who said Thursday that he wanted to press the restart button to erase what he considered a poor first half, allowed a season-high seven earned runs in 41/3 innings. He allowed eight hits and walked the final three batters he faced, including Jackie Bradley Jr. to force in a run.

"I don't know what to say about Odo other than he just didn't have it," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

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Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz earned the win, meaning the Rays are now 11-17 this season against left-handed starters. That's the second-worst mark in the American League against lefties. The Blue Jays are 7-15.

Odorizzi fell to 5-4 while his ERA rose to 4.63.

"It just got away from me," Odorizzi said. "Just one of those games that's a (bad) game. I know I've been going not so good, so it stands out a little bit."

Odorizzi said the fifth inning, when he retired the leadoff hitter then allowed the next four to reach, basically summed up his first 16 starts.

"(I was) just trying to get a double play earlier on, just trying to make the perfect pitch," he said. "I just need to do a better job of executing, and that's kind of the first half in a nutshell."

The Rays had their chances but were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.

The night's outcome might have been different had the Rays not run themselves out of a potential big inning in the second when Mallex Smith dragged a bunt up the first-base line with Wilson Ramos on third and Brad Miller on second. Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland fielded the ball and threw to third, where Ramos was tagged as he scrambled back to the base. Miller was caught between second and third for the third out.

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The bunt/baserunning blunder was exacerbated when the Red Sox jumped on Odorizzi in the top of the third for four runs. The big hit was a two-run homer by Dustin Pedroia that gave Boston a 4-0 lead and extended Odorizzi's streak of games allowing at least one home run to 13.

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"We had a quick change of momentum in there," Cash said. "We're second and third and no outs, and we can't capitalize to get anyone in, and before you know it we're down 4-0."

Cash said of Smith's decision to bunt: "Bunting is part of Mallex Smith's game, and we want it to be. I like the thought, but we've got to be able to understand the situation there. Wilson is not going to score on any bunted ball."

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It was 5-0 Boston when the Rays scored two in the fourth on an RBI double by Ramos and a run-scoring single by Miller. Miller, who returned from the disabled list Friday, reached base in all four of his plate appearances.

But Ramos, the hitting star of Thursday's win, killed a pair of rallies when he twice grounded into inning-ending 5-4-3 double plays.

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