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Game 158: Jake Odorizzi, Bullpen Struggle In Rays’ Loss

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As the season winds down for the Tampa Bay Rays, we are simply hoping for some signs of life after a disappointing season. That didn’t exactly happen on Wednesday though, as the Rays fell to the Boston Red Sox by a score of 11-3. With the loss, the Rays moved to 76-82 on the year.

Every Red Sox hitter had reached base at least once by the time there was one out in the fifth inning, and that likely tells you what you need to know about how Rays’ pitching did in this game. Jake Odorizzi was the starter, and it was clear that his command was off from the beginning of his night. Odorizzi allowed a pair of runs in the second, and he quickly loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth before departing. The Rays were hoping Brandon Gomes could avoid damage in the inning, but he allowed all three inherited runners to score, and then allowed two more runners to score. Odorizzi finished with 3+ innings pitched, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3. Odorizzi now has a 4.99 ERA over his last 10 starts, and you have to wonder if that is due to fatigue, as Odorizzi has set a career high in innings pitched at any level this year at 168.0 innings.

After Gomes, Kirby Yates came on to pitch. He started off by throwing a scoreless fifth, but in the sixth he ran into trouble. Yates allowed a run, and he departed with the bases loaded. Steve Geltz then came on, and he allowed all three inherited runners to score. Geltz didn’t allow a hit, but his control was all over the place, as he walked two runners and threw a wild pitch. Lefties Cesar Ramos and Jeff Beliveau then each came on to throw a scoreless innings to finish off the game. Beliveau was especially effective, as he struck out all three batters that he faced.

The Rays actually started the scoring off in the top of the first. After a Ben Zobrist single and an Evan Longoria walk, Wil Myers doubled off the Green Monster to drive in a run. Nick Franklin then drove in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly. They Rays added another run in the 9th after a Ben Zobrist RBI double, but at that point it hardly mattered. As a whole the Rays managed nine hits and one walk. Zobrist and Kevin Kiermaier were solid on the night, each managing two hits in five at-bats.

After this game, the Rays might find themselves in a pickle with their catching situation. Ryan Hanigan was scratched prior to the start with a toe injury, and during the game Curt Casali suffered a concussion during the game after two pitches were fouled off of his mask. It may now be necessary to add another catcher to the roster with Casali likely missing the rest of the season and Hanigan’s health also in question. However in a non-contending season, the Rays could simply rely on Jose Molina for the last few games and use Sean Rodriguez to catch in case of an emergency. If they did that, they would avoid having to open up a 40-man roster spot for another catcher.

The Rays and Red Sox will be back in action on Thursday as Jeremy Hellickson takes on Allen Webster. The game is set for a 7:10 ET start time.

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