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Quick hook on Odorizzi doesn't go Rays' way

A's notch 7 runs in 7th after Cash goes to 'pen

OAKLAND, Calif. --- Tough decisions resulted in a tough outcome in the Rays' 8-2 loss against the A's on Sunday.

Despite pretty much cruising through the first six innings, Rays starter Jake Odorizzi was pulled from the game in the seventh after a leadoff walk to Danny Valencia on his 94th pitch. Steve Geltz entered and didn't have his best stuff, as the A's scored four runs off the reliever. Valencia's run was credited to Odorizzi, who allowed three hits and one run through the first six frames.

Odorizzi's walk was compounded by the fact that the Rays came from behind for a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh.

The walk pushed manager Kevin Cash to call on his bullpen and bring in Geltz. His 13 pitches and five consecutive runners allowed on base came so quickly, though, that Cash didn't have much time to warm up another reliever, and by then it was too late.

Just like that, the A's blasted the Rays for seven runs in the frame, tying the Rays' worst inning of the season.

"The decision [to insert Geltz] didn't surprise me," said Odorizzi, who has received less than three runs of support 15 times in his last 21 starts. "I know the situation. I know the off-day is tomorrow and we have the ability to use everybody in the 'pen. If I wanted it to be different, I shouldn't have walked the guy after we just got the lead. That's on me and it just kind of spiraled from there. I'll take the blame for the loss."

Technically, it was Geltz (2-5) who took the loss.

"Geltz came in with a man on first, no outs and that's normally a situation where he could cruise through," Cash said. "I don't think we need to read into it any more than that."

Added Geltz: "It was just one of those games. Everything I threw, they hit. I wasn't making good enough pitches."

The reality, however, is that this is the fourth time in the last 10 games that the Rays have lost despite having the lead in the seventh.

"You factor in different hot spots and cold spots [throughout the season]," Cash said. "I'm not saying the bullpen is cold. We have given up some leads and unfortunately when you do, the 'pen is the focus, but we have a lot of great arms in the 'pen."

Willie Bans is a contributor to
Read More: Tampa Bay Rays, Jake Odorizzi, Steve Geltz