The Rays took two out of three games in Seattle, winning today’s matchup by a score of 2-0. Jake Odorizzi was in the zone today, taking a no-hit bid into the sixth inning when he allowed a two-out single to James Jones. Joel Peralta would allow the only other hit to the Mariners in the eighth inning, a double off the bat of Dustin Ackley. Grant Balfour would finish the game for the Rays, throwing a clean inning and picking up his seventh save of the season.
Odorizzi used his two-seam fastball for the majority of his pitches, 50 out of 95 to be exact, and 32 were for strikes. He tried mixing in his curveball 16 times, but told SunSports after the game that he was struggling with control of it. Only 6 of the 16 curveballs were thrown for strikes, per Brooks Baseball. While he wasn’t giving up hits, Odorizzi was throwing a lot of pitches per inning, averaging fifteen pitches per inning through the first five. He would throw 20 pitches in the sixth inning, and his day would end there. Odorizzi’s final line was 6.0 IP, 1 H, 7 K and 2BB, lowering his ERA to 4.89 on the season.
The Rays offense wouldn’t do much on the day themselves, managing to only get three hits. Wil Myers collected the first hit of the game in the top of the second with a double off of Brandon Maurer. After throwing a clean third inning, Maurer was removed from the game in the top of the fourth. He allowed a one-out single to Evan Longoria, who would be forced out at second on the next play while James Loney hustled down the line to avoid the double play. With two outs, Maurer walked Wil Myers. One strike away from getting out of the inning, Desmond Jennings worked the count and wound up walking as well, loading the bases for Yunel Escobar. Escobar would also fall behind 0-2, but then worked a nine-pitch at bat and also walked, putting the Rays up 1-0. Not happy with Maurer’s lack of control, Lloyd McClendon pulled his pitcher with two outs and bases loaded to bring in Dominic Leone. The Mariners skipper could not have been too happy when Leone threw a wild pitch, allowing Myers to score from third. The Rays went up 2-0 and that would be all the offense we would see for the game. Maurer’s final line was 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 BB and 3 K.
After Ben Zobrist collected a hit off of Leone in the top of the fifth, he got caught stealing in a strike em’ out-throw ‘em out. He would leave the game after dislocating his thumb on the slide into second. Zorilla’s thumb was popped back into place, with Maddon noting that he was lucky it was the top knuckle and not the bottom knuckle that had been dislocated. Zobrist will be re-evaluated tomorrow to see if a DL stint is necessary. I’m thinking once he rejoins the team, we’ll see one more baserunner rocking the oven mitt.
Word spread quickly on Twitter that Cole Figueroa was removed from the Durham Bull’s game in the first inning and speculation ran wild that he would be replacing Zobrist on the Rays roster. Either he’ll have a nice cross-country flight like Romero, or possibly join the team if Zobrist does have to go on the DL.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Jake McGee walked Robinson Cano to start the inning. Corey Hart was up next and failed to advance the runner after popping out into foul territory near third base. With one out, Justin Smoak worked an eight-pitch at-bat against McGee, eventually grounding into a double play. Longoria started the double play with a spectacular spin move, and it would go around-the-horn to retire both Cano and Smoak to end the inning. You’ll want to re-watch that play here.
Oh, and in case you missed it, Lloyd McClendon reacted pretty hilariously while arguing a check-swing, leading to his ejection. Some fan wound up with a unique souvenir on his way out!
The Rays will look to keep their momentum rolling in Anaheim as they take on LAAA for a four game series.