Game 22: Erik Bedard Struggles As Rays lose 9-7

By Joe Saunders

The Rays lost the rubber game with the Twins on Thursday afternoon with a familiar story line. Erik Bedard only lasted 4 innings and a tired bullpen couldn’t hold on as the Rays lost 9-7. The offense mounted a comeback bid late but fell short. After exhausting the bullpen in an extra inning game the night before, the Rays needed a strong performance from their starter. They didn’t get one.

One day after Jake Odorizzi couldn’t make it out of the 3rd inning, Erik Bedard only lasted 4 innings. Bedard ran his pitch count up early as he proceeded to walk 5 of the first 10 hitters of the game. He had no command was lucky to only have allowed 4 runs in the game. He settled down a bit after the 2nd inning and go through the next two innings without further damage. Heath Bell relieved Bedard and allowed 5 runs in 1.2 innings. Bell was probably left out a little bit too long in order to save some of the bullpen. Juan Carlos Oviedo made his Rays’ debut and went 1.1 scoreless innings while striking out 2 and walking 2. His stuff looked pretty good and showed a nice breaking slider to complement his low to mid 90s fastball. Josh Lueke and Jake McGee each threw a scoreless inning as well.

The Rays’ offense had another solid game and totaled 13 hits and 7 runs. Ben Zobrist went 3 for 4 while Matt Joyce and James Loney each had two hits on the game. David DeJesus was back in the lineup and crushed his first home run of the season in the second inning. It was a good sign to see the Rays’ offense come alive over the past week and every hitter seems to be working good at bats up and down the order.

The offense kept the Rays in the game and did more than enough over the course of this series for them to win all three games but they were let down by their pitching staff. Two sub-par outings by Jake Odorizzi and Erik Bedard where neither lasted more than 4 doomed what should have been a series victory. Moving forward, the Rays will need better starts from these two and Cesar Ramos until Alex Cobb and Jeremy Helickson return.

The Rays begin a 4 game series with the Chicago White Sox tomorrow night at 8:10 ET. Chris Archer will be on the mound. Check back here for game coverage tomorrow.