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Odorizzi locked in as Rangers rest regulars

October 1, 2016

ARLINGTON -- A Rangers lineup missing several familiar faces had little answer for right-hander Jake Odorizzi and the Rays on Saturday night.Odorizzi allowed just one run on three hits over six innings, striking out eight, to lead the Rays to a 4-1 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

ARLINGTON -- A Rangers lineup missing several familiar faces had little answer for right-hander Jake Odorizzi and the Rays on Saturday night.
Odorizzi allowed just one run on three hits over six innings, striking out eight, to lead the Rays to a 4-1 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park. The Rangers sat several key members of their lineup, including Adrián Beltré, Carlos Beltrán, Jonathan Lucroy, Elvis Andrus and Carlos Gómez, after clinching home-field throughout the postseason on Friday.
Corey Dickerson's three-run home run in the third inning proved to be the difference. Dickerson golfed a curveball from Rangers starter Colby Lewis 406 feet to center, as projected by Statcast™. All four of the runs Lewis allowed were unearned, after a fielding error from Rougned Odor extended the third.

Lewis, making his final start of the season before likely assuming a role in the Rangers' playoff rotation, gave up five hits and struck out three over 6 1/3 innings. It was Lewis' longest outing -- and first quality start -- since being activated from the 60-day disabled list on Sept. 11.
"I actually felt stronger as the game went on, stuff felt stronger," Lewis said. "If you want to look back at that one pitch that put runs on the board, it was a curveball, and I don't think it was that bad of a pitch. It was 18 inches off the ground but he barreled it and it is what it is."
Odorizzi's eight strikeouts were his most since June 19. He did allow a home run in his sixth straight start, though, as Robinson Chirinos hit a solo shot to right-center to lead off the sixth. Despite the home run, Odorizzi was able to pick up his first victory in his last six starts. Alex Colomé picked up his 37th save of the year to secure the win.
"Good win. Odo was outstanding," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It was really good to see him finish as strong as he did. ... Got the big hit from Corey Dickerson with the big three-run homer. Nice to see the bullpen come in with some clean innings. It worked really well tonight. It was nice to see."

Odo outstanding: Odorizzi offered no surprises. He was the Rays' most consistent starter all season, and he continued to be in his final start of the year. Odorizzi allowed the solo shot by Chirinos and two other hits, surrendering no walks while striking out eight in six innings to pick up his 10th win of the season. After the All-Star break, Odorizzi went 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA in 14 starts.
"I feel confident going into the offseason with the second half I put together," Odorizzi said. "This was just kind of putting a wrap on the season. It's nice to go into the offseason on a strong outing, something to build on. I just want to one-up this season next year."

Chirinos finds extra gear: Chirinos nearly homered in his first at-bat of the game in the third, hitting a ball a Statcast-projected 401 feet to the wall in center. He cleared the wall in his second at-bat, though, driving one out to right-center to put the Rangers on the board in the sixth. It was Chirinos' ninth home run of the year and first since July 19. It was also his first home run at home this year.

Dickerson deep: With two outs in the third, Dickerson deposited an 0-1 pitch from Lewis onto the grass over the center-field wall. The three-run blast gave Dickerson his 24th home run of the season. Dickerson is hitting .341 with six home runs, eight doubles and 16 RBIs in his last 24 games.
"I felt like I'm back to my old self," Dickerson said. "I felt like I have a pretty good track record and I'm just getting back to that. Really not thinking anymore. Just having fun with the guys."

Ricochet off Rougned: With one out in the third -- and Bobby Wilson at first with a single -- Kevin Kiermaier hit a potential inning-ending double play ball at second baseman Odor. But the Statcast-projected 100.5 mph ground ball took a bad hop on Odor and ricocheted off his left shin deep into foul territory down the right-field line. Odor was charged with an error as Wilson went to third and Kiermaier ended up at second. Dickerson came up three batters later and hit the three-run homer. Odor left the game in the fourth, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister said that had been planned and was not because of an injury.
"He was coming out after two at-bats anyways," Banister said. "He didn't come out because the ball hit off his shin or anything. He's fine."

"He's been in over half of our wins. ... Just so impressed how he's carried himself throughout the entire year." -- Cash, on Colome
"Both of those are significant. He had not been to that point in either case since we got him back -- the 100 [pitches] and seventh [inning]. I feel comfortable that as long as he responds well in between, we'll feel good about him." -- Banister, on Lewis reaching 100 pitches and pitching into the seventh inning for first time since coming off the disabled list More >
Kiermaier was forced to leave in the sixth inning with a left calf contusion, an injury he thought could have been avoided. It came as a result of getting hit by a pitch from Lewis in the first inning that he thought was on purpose. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Kiermaier attempted a bunt but didn't get it down. Lewis then hit him on the calf.
"I watched the video again, and it was clear it was on purpose and he had a problem with me bunting," Kiermaier said. "That's his decision and so be it. ... He hit me flush on my calf, and I still can't get it loose." More >
Evan Longoria had an RBI in the third when he grounded out to score Wilson. That gave the Rays third baseman his 98th RBI of the season, leaving him with one game to reach 100 RBIs for the third time in his career.

Rays:Chase Whitley will make his first start of the season after making four appearances out of the bullpen with a 1.74 ERA. The right-hander has gone 506 days in between starts. In the interim, he's had Tommy John surgery and a lengthy rehab to get to Sunday's game (3:05 p.m. ET).
Rangers:Martin Pérez (10-11, 4.37 ERA) will take the mound for the team's final regular-season game at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday. Perez matched a career high with eight earned runs allowed Monday, when he faced the Brewers, but he made quality starts in his four previous outings.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for based in Texas and covered the Rangers on Saturday.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005.