Odorizzi Backed By Strong Pen & Key Hit, Rays Defeat Brewers 2-1
Odorizzi Leads, Loney Delivers Key Hit, Boxberger & McGee Slam Door
The Tampa Bay Rays had their nine game win streak ended Sunday afternoon against the Boston Red Sox leading Joe Maddon to opine that it was time to start another one-game win streak and get back to winning series. On Monday night the Rays got back on the winning side of the ledger thanks to a strong pitching performance by Jake Odorizzi, solid relief by Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee, and a key 2-out 2-RBI single by James Loney.
The win improves the Rays to record to 52-54 and they pick up half a game on the idle AL East leading Baltimore Orioles and now trail by only 7 games. Barring a historic comeback the Rays will remain 4.5 games behind the wild card leading Toronto Blue Jays who have a 13-1 lead over the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning.
The win goes to Jake Odorizzi (7-8, 3.80 ERA) who delivered seven innings allowing one run (earned) on three hits striking out five and walking none against the team that originally drafted him in the first round (#32 overall) in 2008 and later traded him to the Kansas City Royals in the winter of 2010.
Brad Boxberger came in and struck out the side in the eighth. He has now recorded 13 straight appearances (dating back to June 29th) spanning 15.1 innings striking out 22 and walking just two.
Jake McGee came in to work the ninth and kept the Brewers off the board to pick up his 12th save of the season.
The loss drops the Brewers to 59-48 as Kyle Lohse (11-5, 3.07 ERA) pitched well but was charged with the loss. He finished the night after six innings allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits striking out six and walking three. Jeremy Jeffress allowed two hits but kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the seventh before giving way to Zach Duke who worked a scoreless eighth.
Mark Reynolds put the Brewers on the scoreboard first launching his 18th homer of the year. It was his third home run in his last 19 plate appearances at Tropicana Field dating back to last season.
The Rays looked to have an opportunity against Kyle Lohse in the bottom of the fifth inning when Logan Forsythe led off the inning with a duck snort down the right field line that skipped past a sliding Ryan Braun. Unfortunately for the Rays, Mark Reynolds was able to run the ball down and Jean Segura completed a perfect relay throw to retire the aggressive Forsythe trying to stretch a double into a triple.
The Rays finally broke through against Lohse in the bottom of the sixth inning loading the bases with two outs for James Loney. On the year the Rays had only hit .178 (8 for 45) but Loney himself was .333 (2 for 6). Loney connected on a 89-mph fastball that he flared into right center driving in both Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.