The Tampa Bay Rays dropped the first game of their current three game against the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 7-5, in an afternoon game at the Rogers Center Monday. Jake Odorizzi took the mound against RA Dickey, in his debut performance with the Rays.
Going into Monday’s game, the expectation for Odorizzi was to go five to six innings, while keeping the score low. Lets be realistic here; Dickey could have been spotty, brilliant, or somewhere in between — as he was Monday — so it was imperative for Odorizzi to keep things close enough for the Rays could break things open against a reliever. Looking back on Odorizzi’s start, I think it’s safe to say that he met/exceeded the expectation set before him. That isn’t to say his ride was completely smooth, rather on the contrary. However he — as with Chris Archer before him* — adjusted well, stringing together a solid five inning outing.
Odorizzi got roughed up in the first inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a sac fly — all on 29 pitches. He started the game by giving up a leadoff single to Melky Cabrera, following that up with a Jose Bautista strikeout and an Edwin Encarnacion single to left-field. With runners on the corners and only one out, Adam Lind worked a 12-pitch at bat that resulted in a sac-fly RBI to score Cabrera. Brett Lawrie was next, hitting a triple that scored Encarnacion. Colby Rasmus ended the inning by flying-out to left. The young righty started to put things together in the second inning, however the human element would ultimately tack one more run onto his final line.
Henry Blanco hit a ball down the left field line that Sam Fuld fielded perfectly, subsequently throwing a bullet to Ben Zobrist who tagged him out. But Blanco was ruled safe by C.B. Bucknor. even though the replay clearly showed that he was out. Suffice to say, neither Zobrist nor Joe Maddon were happy. Regardless, the call stood and the mistake came back to haunt Odorizzi when Cabrera doubled in Blanco, giving the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead.
Odorizzi threw a one-two-three third inning, striking out both Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie on a curveball. He would have a one-two-three inning once more in the fifth, striking out Bautista for the second time. Ultimately retiring ten of the last eleven hitters he faced, Odorizzi relied heavily on his four seam fastball, while throwing 63% of his 92 total pitches for strikes. Jake McGee came on in relief in the sixth inning and absolutely dominated the Jays, putting together a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. But things went south for the Rays from there.
Josh Lueke entered the game in the seventh and lacked any semblance of fastball control. After walking walking Emilio Bonifacio, Bautista, and Munenori Kawasaki, Lueke gave up a three-run double to Encarnacion, giving the Blue Jays a 6-3 lead they’d never relinquish. Kyle Farnsworth came on in relief of Lueke and got the final out of the seventh on one pitch. Don’t get too excited; Farnsworthless gave up the seventh run of the day in the eighth inning on the backs of a two-out Blanco walk, and a Kawasaki triple.
Tampa Bay was able to score the bulk of their runs off RA Dickey in the first and third innings, while attempting to mount a two-out rally in the ninth inning against Casey Janssen. You can read a fairly good scoring summary here. To be fair to the Rays offense, five runs on seven hits and five walks should have been enough. The responsibility for the loss should be placed squarely on Lueke’s shoulders.
The New What Next
The Rays look to recover with Alex Cobb on the mound, as he takes on Ramon Ortiz and the Blue Jays Tuesday. You can read about the pitching match-up here. We’ll post the starting lineup when it becomes available.
Rays 5/21/13 Starting Lineup
- Evan Longoria’s hitting streak now sits at 14 games. He has also reached base safely in a MLB high 43-of-44 games.
- Fun fact of the day: The Rays are the only AL club, and one of three in MLB to be .500 or better on this date in each of the last six years. The other two? The Cardinals and the Braves. How’s thar for history, Yankees and Red Sox fans.
*Think back to Archer’s first start as a Ray last season against the Nationals