Jumbo Diaz was impressive in his first appearance with the Rays Tuesday night. (Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

A three-run third was the undoing of Jake Odorizzi on Tuesday, as the Tampa Bay Rays ultimately fell to the New York Yankees, 5-0. Both teams are now 1–1 in the first series of the season, with the series win on the line Wednesday evening.

After putting down six of the first seven hitters (one strikeout), the Rays’ right-hander ran into trouble in the third inning. Aaron Judge — down in the count 0-2 — led off the frame with a single to center. This, before number nine hitter, Ronald Torreyes, crushed a no doubter of a two-run homer into the stands in left for a two-run lead. The Yankees were not done.

Brett Gardner followed with a first pitch double to right. Odorizzi was able to collect himself to strikeout both Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird for the first two outs of the third, however, Matt Holliday hit a towering fly ball to left that appeared to go above the rafters. Peter Bourjos, making the first start of his career in left field, lost the ball in the dome, and it fell into play for a run-scoring double.

Bourjos talked about the gaffe following the game:

Odorizzi was able to again settle down to collect a pair of scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth innings, yet Chase Headley belted a solo shot to center field in the sixth, extending the lead to four runs. Odorizzi’s day was done after he relinquished seven hits and two walks, while notching four strikeouts over six innings. Odorizzi took responsibility for the loss, although he did throw shade at the hitters for the lack of offense:

In spite scoring opportunities against CC Sabathia in the fourth and fifth innings, the southpaw, and/or second coming of Cy Young, surrendered only three hits and two walks, and didn’t allow a runner beyond second base. To his credit, Sabathia — who now paints himself as a finesse pitcher — effectively moved the ball around the zone and kept the Rays’ hitters off balance.

All in all, Tampa Bay collected just five hits on the night (just one left the infield), though Evan Longoria did reach base three times on a base hit and two walks.

Cashy said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this Cashy said. Rather, skipper Kevin Cash said, “We’re gonna have some nights where it’s quiet,” and well…

After Sabathia, the Rays faced Bryan Mitchell in the sixth, Tyler Clippard in the seventh, Jonathan Holder and Delin Betances in the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman the ninth.

In the eighth, Tampa Bay was able to load the bases against Holder, however, Betances — who came on in relief — struck out Rickie Weeks Jr. and got pinch-hitter Logan Morrison to ground to first, to end the inning.

Jumbo Diaz worked a scoreless seventh in his first appearance with the Rays, and Tommy Hunter worked a scoreless ninth. In between though, New York tacked on a two-out run in the eighth off Austin Pruitt.

The New What Next

Alex Cobb (1-2, 8.59 ERA in 2016) will get the start in the series finale, opposite of Michael Pineda (6-12, 4.82 ERA in 2016). Cobb went 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA during Spring Training, although more importantly, he is healthy and ready to execute his pitches.

Pineda is looking to get off to a strong start to the season, even though his career has been marred by frustrating inconsistency. In 12 starts against the Rays, Pineda is 2-4 with a 4.37 ERA, and is 1-3 with a 4.78 ERA at the Trop. Key matchups: Corey Dickerson (6-12, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Brad Miller (7-18, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Logan Morrison (3-12, HR, 2 RBI), Steven Souza Jr. (9-19, 3 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI)

Rays 4/5/17 Starting Lineup

Dickerson DH
Kiermaier CF
Longoria 3B
Miller SS
Souza Jr. RF
Morrison 1B
Smith LF
Norris C
Cobb RHP


— Nick Franklin, the infielder that was designated for assignment on Saturday, has been claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers.

— A reminder…

In keeping with the momentum built with the win on Sunday, you are cordially invited to a Baseball Forever Rally at Ferg’s on Wednesday, with a Special Giveaway!

From the press release:

When? Wednesday, April 5
Where? Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill
Time? Party starts at 5:30 p.m.

Ferg’s will be flexing their traditional game day spirit and there will be a special Baseball Forever giveaway for all attendees. Afterwards, we’ll walk over to The Trop together to watch Mayor Kriseman throw the first pitch as the Tampa Bay Rays face off against the Yankees at 7:10 p.m.

Get your tickets, here! Trust us, you don’t want to miss this. #RaysUp

More information at www.baseballforever.com

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