Game 76: Jake Odorizzi Starts 1-Hitter, Rays Win 8-0

By Fletcher Keel

The Tampa Bay Rays blew through the Houston Astros this afternoon by an 8-0 score to take the third contest of this long four-game weekend series.

The Rays got their second great starting pitching performance in as many outings, as Jake Odorizzi went 7.1 innings and allowing just one hit while striking out 10. His 7.1 innings pitched matches his season- and career-high, as he went that far in a June 10th game against the Cardinals. Brad Boxberger and Kirby Yates threw the final 1.2 innings to seal the deal and shutout the ‘Stros. Odorizzi had a dominant fastball, forcing an unbelievable 16 whiffs with the pitch thanks to an excellent job mixing his pitches, his locations, and his eye levels. Jake Odorizzi looked as good as ever on Saturday, continuing a run that has seen him put up a 2.94 ERA in his last nine starts.

Making his major league debut for Houston was Jake Buchanan, who started in place of Brad Peacock, who came down with food poisoning and was scratched from his start. Buchanan, who had spent all of 2014 up to this point with Houston’s triple-A team in Oklahoma City, was 6-4 in 13 starts with a 3.54 ERA for the RedHawks. Unfortunately, the good minor league numbers wouldn’t hold up against a frustrated offense, as the Rays hung five runs on eight hits on him in 4.1 innings of work, including two runs right out of the gate in the first.

The Rays offense picked up right where they left off at the very tail end of yesterday’s game, as they exploded for eight runs–two in the first, three in the fifth, and another three in the eighth. James Loney had the best day at the plate for the Rays, as he finished the day with three RBI and 2-for-5 at the plate. Ben Zobrist was the only Ray to cross the plate twice, but a total of six Rays came home to score. For once the Rays excelled with runners in scoring position, going 5 for 13, and they have to hope that it starts a trend.

The Rays will look to clinch the long series tomorrow in a Sunday matinee, as Erik Bedard will oppose the 8-4 Dallas Keuchel at 1:40 PM.