Odorizzi, Rays blank O's for first win
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays avoided a sweep by the Orioles on Wednesday night with a 2-0 win at Tropicana Field in front of a crowd of 13,569.
Jake Odorizzi led the way, giving the Rays a superb start in his first outing of the season, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings. In the previous two games, Rays starters allowed nine earned runs.
First-year Rays manager Kevin Cash earned his first win in the process.
"It was nice," said Cash about the win. "We've been waiting for three days for it to come together a little bit. But I think we saw a lot of good things coming out of camp. Coming out of spring. And some of those things showed up tonight, so it's obviously a good day."
The Orioles' offense, which scored 12 runs in the first two games of the series, could not get anything going Wednesday night, striking out 13 times.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Walk's as good as a hit: A lead is a lead, no matter how the run scores. Miguel Gonzalez tossed five scoreless innings before the Rays' hitters looked him over in the sixth. Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings drew two-out walks before pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer followed suit against Gonzalez's replacement, Brian Matusz. Logan Forsythe then fell behind 1-2 before working the count full. Matusz didn't come close to the strike zone on ball four, forcing home a run to put the Rays up 1-0.
"The overall at-bats we put together that inning were impressive," Cash said. "To get a run without driving a guy in, that's a little rare, but give a little credit to the guys for the at-bats they put up against Matusz and Gonzalez.
"[Forsythe] laid off -- from the dugout, what appeared to be -- some close pitches. Brandon also coming in there to pinch hit. A lot of times you come in to pinch hit and you feel like you have to prove something. He was patient enough to be selective and took the walk. Kind of turned it over to the next guy."
Boxberger dominates in the ninth: Brad Boxberger pitched the ninth for the Rays and came away with the save. After allowing a single to the leadoff batter, Alejandro De Aza, the right-hander struck out Steve Pearce and Travis Snider swinging before catching Adam Jones looking at strike three to end the game.
Orioles' offense goes missing: After scoring 12 runs in 11 innings to start the series, Baltimore was scoreless in the final 16. Still, the O's finally head home with a series win.
"We'd like to win every game. You get as well of a pitched game as far as the runs we gave up, you'd like to come out of it with a little better result. But their guy pitched better," Showalter said.
Gonzalez deserved better fate: After slogging through a 32-pitch first inning, during which he allowed two singles, Gonzalez rebounded nicely and allowed just one more hit over 5 2/3 innings in a 98-pitch season debut. A pair of walks ended his night, with a run scoring later charged to him.
"I was a little off, I was a little off on my fastball, and I was able to command my offspeed [pitches] early, which was good," Gonzalez said. "And that double play we got [to end the first inning], it was phenomenal. It was fun to watch. That got me going, and I felt pretty good after that."
"Oh God. I don't care if it's snowing, raining or sleeting, I'm in. I feel like we have been gone for a long time." -- Showalter, of the team finally flying out of Florida and back to Baltimore
"I didn't know what the heck was going on. I heard rumors about what goes on in here. So that was a little entertaining. And pretty special. Something I'll never forget. Just getting doused with liquids."-- Cash, on the celebration of his first managerial win
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Longoria's eighth-inning double tied Carl Crawford's club record of 424 extra-base hits.
Umpires called Jennings safe at first when he grounded to shortstop with the bases loaded and one out in the first inning. The Orioles got the force at second, but Jennings was ruled to have beaten the throw. The Orioles challenged, and the call on the field was overturned to end the Rays' threat. The delay lasted 1 minute, 12 seconds.
In the fourth, Forsythe ripped a ball to third that Orioles third baseman Manny Machado backhanded before throwing a strike to first. Forsythe was called out on a close play, prompting the Rays to challenge the call. Following a 2 minute and 5 second delay, the call was ruled to stand, thereby ending the fourth for the Rays.
Despite no longer having a challenge, Cash convinced the umpiring crew to review a tag play when Steven Souza Jr. was tagged out trying to steal second base with two outs in the seventh. An umpire review that lasted 53 seconds confirmed the call on the field.
Jason Garcia, the Orioles' Rule 5 pick from Boston, made his Major League debut in the bottom of the seventh inning. The 22-year-old tossed a scoreless frame, watching as a two-out walk to Souza was erased as catcher Ryan Lavarnway threw him out trying to steal second.
"It was a big rush being out there for the first time," said Garcia, a Land O'Lakes, Fla., native who had about 10 acquaintances in attendance at Tropicana Field. "Some of the guys try to give me a heads-up what it would be like, but I don't think you can really explain what that felt like." More >
Orioles: The Orioles will hold a light workout on Thursday before their home opener against Toronto at 3 p.m. ET on Friday. Bud Norris will get the ball for Baltimore, opposed by Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle.
Rays: The Rays will travel to Miami to begin a three-game series against the Marlins on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. ET, and a seven-game road trip that will also include a stop in Toronto for four games against the Blue Jays. The Rays have not yet named a starter for Friday night's game, but the most likely candidates are right-handers Matt Andriese and Erasmo Ramirez.