Starter Jake Odorizzi allowed one run and seven hits in five innings of work on 93 pitches (60 strikes). Credit where it’s due, despite getting into six full counts, Odorizzi walked just one batter and wiggled his way out of two big wRISP situations.
The Rays initially took the lead when Desmond Jennings drove in Logan Forsythe on a sacrifice-fly with the bases loaded in the third inning. Even though Baltimore tied the game in the top of the following inning, Kevin Kiermaier put the good guys on top again (and for good) in the sixth, sending an 0-2 fastball on the inner third of the plate into the right field seats.
Three home runs for @KKiermaier39 in his last 8 games.
The latest put #RaysUp, 3-1!
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 27, 2016
At 0-10 wRISP in the game, it’s safe to say the Rays left a lot of chicken on the bone. Rays manager Kevin Cash spoke to that point, saying,
We put a clinic on offensively of not what to do with runners in scoring position early on.
In any case, the Rays have now won three in a row, with 11 of their 13 runs over the stretch coming with two outs.
The New What Next
Matt Moore will take the mound in Wednesday night’s series finale, opposite of Chris Tillman. Moore is 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 10 career starts against Baltimore. When the lefty is up 0-2 in the count, he’s allowed just one hit in 10 official at-bats and fanned five. This marks the eighth consecutive series between the two teams that Tillman will have a start. Tillman is 2-for-3 and didn’t factor in the decision in the other two games, both won by Tampa Bay. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.
Rays 4/27/16 Starting Lineup
— On Alex Cobb and Brad Boxberger…
Cobb continued the program to build up his arm strength on Tuesday, throwing 25 fastballs off the mound in a bullpen session. He is expected to continue throwing bullpen sessions until he begins to face hitters in June. The righty told Bill Chastain (Rays beat writer, MLB.com) that he’s beginning to feel more familiar with throwing a baseball.
Even in Spring Training, when he’s not returning from an injury,
It takes a good eight to 10 bullpens before I’m feeling like I know how to pitch again, Cobb said. I’m very happy with how quickly I’ve gotten to the point I’m at already.
Cobb has focused solely on his mechanics and nothing else.
I’m not worried about my elbow, I’m not worried about the way the ball is coming out. I’m worried about how my mechanics line up to make the pitches do what I want them to do. That’s a great sign. It’s a good sign for me mentally to just be focusing on that instead of the other stuff that goes along with the surgery.
Cobb should return by late July or early August.
Boxberger was cleared by Dr. William Meyers — the Philadelphia doctor who performed his core muscle surgery in March — to resume full baseball activity. Like Cobb, Boxberger is on a similar program of throwing bullpen sessions and should be just about ready to face live hitters. He throw will his second bullpen session Wednesday.
He said everything is good, ready to go, Boxberger said. I can start working more on the baseball stuff, agilities and all that. Getting back with the boys.
The reliever still expects a mid-May return to the bullpen.
Cash was pleased with the news, saying,
We had a really good report, from what I heard from (head athletic trainer) Ron (Porterfield). And talking to Box, he seemed excited. … He’s eager to get back out there, which is great. We expect a lot of big things when he gets back. From talking to him, he’s eager to get back out there, which is great,” said Cash, who added, Porterfield said he’s been tremendous in the weight room and in the rehab. We expect a lot of big things when he is back.
— Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza both reached homers in 58 plate appearances (tied for the ninth quickest in team history to start a season).
— According to Elias Sports Beureau, the Rays have scored 15 of their 18 runs in the last five games with two outs (83.3%). For the season, 42 of 70 of their runs have been scored with two outs (60%), highest in the majors.