Odorizzi dominant on quiet day for Rays' bats
Starter allows one hit in six innings, gets support in two-run fourth
SEATTLE -- Manager Joe Maddon always likes to talk about the Rays' DNA being pitching, defense and quality at-bats.
Had DNA testing been conducted after the club's 2-0 win over the Mariners, the results would have been positive.
Wednesday afternoon's win at Safeco Field gave the Rays a 2-1 mark on their seven-game road stretch, claiming their series against the Mariners while moving to 18-23 as they travel to Anaheim to play four games against the Angels.
Jake Odorizzi got the win, and three relief pitchers finished out the shutout. Combined with David Price's complete game on Tuesday night, the Rays finished the series by blanking the Mariners in the last 17 innings of the series.
"Pretty impressive," Maddon said. "And, obviously, Jake was great today. David was great yesterday."
But the Rays manager harkened back to Monday night's 12-5 loss, when starter Cesar Ramos endured after getting hit hard early to finish 6 2/3 innings.
"You have to go back to the first game, when Cesar did what he did," Maddon said, pointing out how the Rays' tired bullpen had a chance to catch its collective breath. "It permitted all this stuff to happen. Today the bullpen was very fresh. It kept everything in order. We pitched really, really well after those first two innings [Monday night]."
Odorizzi held the Mariners hitless through 5 2/3 innings before James Jones broke the spell with a single to left.
The rookie right-hander finished the sixth, giving way to Jake McGee in the seventh with his best Major League start tucked under his belt.
Odorizzi allowed no runs on a hit and two walks while striking out seven in six innings to pick up his second win of the season.
Mariners catcher John Buck said he did not know what in particular made Odorizzi so effective.
"I haven't figured it out," Buck said. "He was throwing an invisi-ball. That's the best thing I've got for you. [Home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley] was very consistent today with the strike zone. He was calling that high strike that you see being called more and more nowadays.
"It seemed like [Odorizzi] was pitching to that spot. We'd take one, and then it was like we couldn't get on top of it. It seemed like to me the repetition thing; we just couldn't get to that up fastball. He was elevating well, and he threw well."
Odorizzi noted that he had trouble with his curve, but he allowed that he had "a really good fastball."
"It felt good coming out," Odorizzi said. "The hitters tell you what your stuff is like. They didn't put any hard contact on it, so we kept going to it. Kept bringing it up higher and higher in the zone to see if they kept swinging at it, and a lot of them did."
McGee pitched a scoreless seventh before Joel Peralta came on to pitch the eighth. With one out and a runner on second, Peralta struck out Buck, who tried to check his swing. Replays showed that Buck did indeed hold up. Buck would have walked on the 3-2 pitch, but instead he returned to the Mariners' dugout while Lloyd McClendon argued with first-base umpire Lance Barksdale, who ejected Seattle's manager.
Michael Saunders grounded out to end the inning. Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save of the season.
The only scoring of the game came in the fourth inning.
Evan Longoria singled off Seattle starter Brandon Maurer with one out in the inning. One out later, Wil Myers walked, and Desmond Jennings followed suit to load the bases for Yunel Escobar.
Maurer got ahead in the count, 0-2, but Escobar worked the count full before Maurer walked him to force in a run.
Maddon complimented Escobar for going from "0-2 to 4-2" in the count.
"That's what he's able to do, to not chase," Maddon said. "A lot of our guys are not able to chase. And that was a huge at-bat."
Dominic Leone took over for Maurer and uncorked a wild pitch with Ryan Hanigan at the plate. Myers scored on the play to make it 2-0 Rays.
The Rays' offense "was definitely opportunistic," Maddon said. "And it was definitely parceled out properly. Definitely was enough to get the job done."
Particularly the way the Rays pitched, allowing just two hits, their fewest since July 27 in New York against the Yankees, and they recorded their fourth shutout of the season en route to their sixth win in their past eight road games.
And after making four errors Monday night, the Rays played error-free baseball in the final two games of the series.
"It was really an interesting series, and we were fortunate to win two close games," Maddon said.