Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier wishes he'd gotten money's worth after first ejection

Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier walks away from umpire Mike Muchlinski after being called out on strikes in the third, just before being ejected from a game for the first time in his career.
Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier walks away from umpire Mike Muchlinski after being called out on strikes in the third, just before being ejected from a game for the first time in his career.
Published April 9, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — CF Kevin Kiermaier was getting a drink of water in the dugout during the seventh inning when SS Daniel Robertson delivered the news. Kiermaier had been ejected by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski for arguing a called third strike.

Kiermaier thought the pitch was low, which he told Muchlinski before leaving the plate and once he reached the dugout. It was what Kiermaier said in the dugout that earned him his first-ever ejection at any level.

"Not really how I pictured my first ejection," Kiermaier said. "I wish I would have gotten my money's worth. Definitely thought I had some low pitches."

Kiermaier was not only upset he got tossed but that he wasn't on the field to help his team close out the 7-2 win against the Blue Jays.

"I didn't do a good job of holding my anger in the moment, and he tossed me," Kiermaier said. "Fair on his part. … I just totally disagreed with the call."

Jake hangs tough

The Blue Jays were leading 2-0 five batters into the game when RHP Jake Odorizzi took over. He retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced, including the final eight, to even his record at 1-1.

"Just kind of found a groove," Odorizzi, who made his 100th career start, said. "That was about it. I was a lot more erratic this start than the one before but had better results. I was kind of fighting myself but got through it."

Odorizzi pitched through pain during his final three innings after he was struck on the top of his left hamstring by a one-hopper off the bat of RF Jose Bautista in the third. Odorizzi got the out at first before dropping to one knee.

"It hurt pretty good at the beginning," Odorizzi said. "After that point I didn't sit down in the dugout. I tried to stand up and move around so it wouldn't start getting tight. It was a little stinger, but I made the play and got the out."

Number of the day

3 Games over .500 for the Rays. The last time they were three games over was July 2, 2015.

Quote of the day

"We should feel good right now. We do feel good."

Manager Kevin Cash on the 5-2 start

Bully for the pen

The Rays bullpen completed the seven-game homestand with a 1.64 ERA. Not bad for a unit that is without RH setup man Brad Boxberger (right flexor strain).

RHPs Alex Colome, Jumbo Diaz, Tommy Hunter and Erasmo Ramirez have yet to allow a run.

"You never know what you're getting in spring training," manager Kevin Cash said. "A lot of the bullpen guys pitch at the back end of games, and you're not necessarily playing the opposition's top guys at the time, but I couldn't be happier with the way those guys are throwing."


. All three Rays home runs came on two-strike counts: DH Corey Dickerson (1-and-2), RF Steven Souza Jr. (1-and-2), C Jesus Sucre (0-and-2).

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. Souza has six RBIs in his past three games.

. Dickerson has reached base at least twice in five straight games.

Yankees again

RHP Alex Cobb faces the Yankees this afternoon in consecutive starts for the second time in his career. He did it in September 2014, losing both.

"It's very challenging," Cobb said.

He will change his approach — "Think outside the box a little bit" — but won't change too much of what he does well.