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Rays 5, Angels 7: Odorizzi Falters Early In Loss To Halos

Odorizzi managed to last just three innings in Sunday's loss.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Odorizzi had been very good over his last nine starts, lowering his ERA more than a full run. The tenth wouldn't be as pretty.

The 24-year-old right hander took it on the chin in the first inning, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks. Even the outs he recorded were hit especially hard. It was 3-0 before a single out was recorded, and it wasn't until his 37th pitch of the inning that he picked up his first swinging strike. All told he'd throw 46 pitches in the frame. He threw two more innings of scoreless baseball and was pulled after 82 pitches.

Odorizzi came into this game fifth in K/9 and tenth in overall strikeout percentage. Obviously he knows how to miss bats, but the Angels have scored the second most runs in baseball for a reason and kept fouling off pitch after pitch until he made a mistake. Virtually every pitch he tried to throw up in the zone was either fouled off or taken for a ball. It's a learning experience for a young pitcher and Odorizzi has shown the ability to adjust to adversity already this season.

The offense tried to overcome the hole the pitching staff put them in, but the Angels bullpen proved to be too much, aside from Jason Grilli. The Rays put 17 men on base but were just 3-13 with men in scoring position. Matt Joyce, on his birthday, reached base four times but was stranded on three occasions. They loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning but were only able to score one run on a Jose Molina sacrifice fly. They'd score another run on a sac-fly in the fifth inning. They looked primed to score again in the sixth after a Logan Forsythe leadoff double, but came up empty.

The seventh inning provided a glimmer of hope as a James Loney single and subsequent wild pitch scored two, closing the gap to three runs. After a Yunel Escobar single, a 13-pitch at bat from Forsythe resulted in a walk, loading the bases for Sean Rodriguez who promptly struck out. Cole Figueroa, the Rays only left-handed bench bat, pinch hit for Brandon Guyer and walked, forcing in a run. With a two run deficit and the bases loaded, Kevin Kiermaier swung at the first pitch he saw...and grounded out to second.

The loss drops the Rays to 54-57 and provides their second series loss in the last ten. It doesn't get any easier for the Rays as they head to Oakland to play the best-record-in-baseball A's.