The Tampa Bay Rays offense is struggling mightily, and the slump has not shown signs of stopping anytime soon.
In this game, Miguel Gonzalez started for the Baltimore Orioles and went 5 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Zach Britton followed with 3 scoreless frames before Tommy Hunter worked around a hit in the 9th for a save to nail down the Baltimore win. The trio of Baltimore pitchers held Wil Myers and Evan Longoria to a combined 0 for 8, including 3 strikeouts from Myers and 1 from Longoria. Desmond Jennings did go 2 for 3 with a walk, but his performance was one of the few highlights as the Rays were held to no runs on 6 hits.
Now let’s talk about the pitching, about which we will have more positive things to say. For the second straight start, Jake Odorizzi came apart after getting his outing off to a great beginning. In the 4th inning, a walk, a groundball single, and a bunt single set up two Orioles runs before another groundball single and two walks set up one last run in the 4th as the Orioles wound up getting Odorizzi for 3 runs in 5 innings. Odorizzi allowed 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. The good news: after his last outing finished with him allowing 7 runs, Odorizzi kept his composure this time, holding the Orioles to 3 even as his control deserting him at times and he was getting no luck on the groundball singles. Odorizzi still has work to do, but hopefully he can take the positives from this outing and keep improving in his coming starts.
Behind Odorizzi, Brad Boxberger impressed for the second straight day, striking out 1 while working around a hit in the 6th. The right-hander touched 93 MPH with his fastball to go along with a couple good changeups. With Friday starter Erik Bedard and expected Sunday starter Cesar Ramos already on the roster, Boxberger could stick around for a while if he keeps pitching like this. Finally, there were Joel Peralta and Brandon Gomes, who each struck out 1 in their hitless innings. It was especially nice to see Gomes rebound after allowing a 3-run homer in his previous outing.
The relievers looked great in this game, and Odorizzi should be fine…but where are these Rays hitters? They hope to finally show up on Thursday night in support of David Price as they take on CC Sabathia on the New York Yankees.