Rays Lose To Angels and Cy Vargas 2-0.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays squandered an early opportunity as the bats were quiet.

Sigh.

It was one of those games. It was a demoralizing, anguishing game in which the Rays failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity in the first inning and proceeded to get shut down offensively by a mediocre pitcher, wasting a very solid pitching effort. These types of games seem to happen far too often.

After Jake Odorizzi pitched a scoreless first inning despite allowing two base runners, the Rays quickly created a scoring opportunity. Jennings just missed a home run with a double off of the wall in left center field to lead off the game. Ben Zobrist was then hit by a pitch, bringing Longoria to the plate with runners on first and second with no outs. But Longoria couldn't bring the runners home, instead grounding into a force out to put runners on the corners with one out. Wil Myers walked on five pitches, bringing Sean Rodriguez up to the plate with an excellent  opportunity to score. Of course though, the Rays didn't score. Sean Rodriguez popped out to the third baseman and Yunel Escobar flied out to center field.

The Rays quickly paid for their failure to bring a runner home. After Jake Odorizzi struck out Kole Calhoun, he issued his second walk of the game, this one to Hank Conger. Playing a bit of small ball, Grant Green pushed Conger to second baseman with a groundball and Luis Jimenez laced a two-out RBI base hit to left field. Though Conger scored, Jimenez was thrown out trying to advance to second base on the throw home.

From there on out, the Rays were dismantled by Jason Vargas. The next time they would put a runner in scoring position was in the sixth inning, when a Zobrist single and a Myers walk (one of three on the day for him) put runners on first and second with one out. Sean Rodriguez and Yunel Escobar quickly put out the rally though, and the Rays remained without a run.

While the offense was getting shut down by Vargas, Jake Odorizzi settled down after the first couple of innings. Following the second inning, his command noticeably improved, and he cruised through three innings, even generating some ground balls. His final line was 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, and 3 Ks. He threw 83 pitches, 50 of them for strikes. His rather early exit was probably an effort by Maddon to hand the game to his strong relievers and let this outing be a confidence booster for the young right handed pitcher.

Entering the game in the sixth inning in relief of Odorizzi, Alex Torres quickly allowed the Angels to double their lead. J.B. Shuck hit a line drive to right field that handcuffed Myers, who retreated on the ball when he probably should have charged in to catch it. After Erick Aybar popped out, a walk to Mike Trout pushed Shuck to second base. Josh Hamilton flew out harmlessly, but the Angels once again worked some two out magic with a single by Calhoun to center field to score a run. Hank Conger tried bunting for a hit but was thrown out on a close play to end the threat. Torres would pitch a perfect seventh inning while Jamey Wright and Wesley Wright kept the Angels off the board in the 8th and 9th innings.

After seven scoreless innings, Jason Vargas was pulled from the game and replaced with ex-Ray Dane De La Rosa. Though he walked Jennings on a close 3-2 pitch, he rebounded to get Zobrist to ground into a double-play, killing the mini-rally.

In the 9th inning, the Rays refused to go down easily against the hard throwing Ernesto Frieri. Wil Myers, after falling behind 0-2, worked a lead off walk to bring the tying run to the plate. Matt Joyce, pinch hitting for Sean Rodriguez, did well to get ahead in the count, but after a long at bat he popped out to the shortstop. Yunel Escobar fell behind, but he made the game interesting with a double over the right fielder's head to put the tying runs on second and third with only one out. Alas, the Rays could not get them home. Kelly Johnson popped out near the third base dugout and pinch hitter David DeJesus hit a flyball to right field to end the game. Angels 2, Rays 0.

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