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Andriese relishes his first Major League win

ST. PETERSBURG -- After catching a flight from Durham to St. Petersburg on Thursday, Matt Andriese had to wait around until he started the Rays' 7-5 win against the White Sox on Friday.

That wait, however, was nothing compared to the time the right-hander had to bide in between Major League appearances.

For the first time since May 9, Andriese suited up for the Rays, and in his fourth start of the season he delivered a career-high 5 2/3 innings, allowing two unearned runs on six hits while striking out five en route to his first Major League win.

"It's big," said Andriese about his first career win. "Good to get the monkey off my back. I got my first two saves earlier in the year, but it's good to get the win."

Andriese started off the ballgame retiring 12 of the first 16 White Sox batters he faced, but ran into some trouble in the fifth. Following a strikeout of Tyler Flowers, the rookie walked Carlos Sanchez and then watched as catcher Rene Rivera fielded a bunt attempt by Adam Eaton and soared the throw past first baseman Jake Elmore, allowing Sanchez to score and Eaton to advance to third. Two pitches later, Alexei Ramirez skied a sacrifice fly to center to score the tying run.

"He walked a guy and then we have a tough play on a bunt and he put himself in a little bit of a jam, but I like the way he kept his composure," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

The Rays picked up their starter in the bottom half of the frame when Logan Forsythe delivered a sacrifice fly of his own to put the Rays back on top, 3-2. Andriese returned to the mound in the sixth, striking out the first two batters before surrendering a single to Melky Cabrera that signaled the end of his night.

After being optioned to Triple-A Durham on May 15, Andriese used the four Minor League starts he had to stretch out his arm. And on a night when Cash admitted that the Rays' bullpen was "short," the longest outing of the righty's career was much needed.

"I was able to go down to Triple-A and kind of build my pitch count back up," Andriese said. "It's good to get out there and go 85 [pitches] and give the bullpen a rest a little bit."

The 2015 season has been an up-and-down ride for Andriese, who has made eight appearances for the Rays while posting a 1-1 record and recording two saves with a 3.76 ERA, but whether it was bouncing back from a plane ride or a demotion, his mentality has stayed the same.

"I try to go out there and pitch my game," Andriese said. "I try to not let the travel affect me, or anything like that. I try to keep that in the back of my head. I just tried to go out there and be aggressive."

Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for
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