Odorizzi spins a gem as Rays beat Twins again

by Gary Shelton on September 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Odorizzi allowed only one hit in  an excellent outing./CARMEN MANDATO

Odorizzi allowed only one hit in an excellent outing./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

Odorizzi had one of his best games in Rays' vicctory./CARMEN MANDATO

Odorizzi had one of his best games in Rays' victory./CARMEN MANDATO

Don't worry about the play Adeiny Hechavarria was unable to make.

Just smile about the one he made.

Hechavarria, the Rays' slick-fielding shortstop, ended Tuesday night's game with a double play, preserving a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Hechavarria was positioned to the first base side of second in the ninth inning

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Duda celebrates home run to lead Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Duda celebrates home run to lead Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

when — with a runner on third — he fielded a grounder by Eddie Rosario and turned a game-inning double play.

It continued an impressive fielding run by Hechavarria, who is third in the American League in fielding percentage (.982).

“Honestly, I didn’t even see the ball,” Hechavarria said. “I saw it get hit up the middle and the umpire was there so I didn’t see it, but I read the bounce last minute. It was incredible.”

Hechavarria has dazzled with his glove./CARMEN MANDATO

Hechavarria has dazzled with his glove./CARMEN MANDATO

However, Hechavarria wasn't able to make a play in the seventh, when Joe Maurer's ball up the middle hit the bag and bounced high, allowing Maurer to beat out a single and end a no-hit bid by pitcher Jake Odorizzi. Odorizzi finished with a one-hit shutout over 6 2/3 innings.

“It wasn't meant to be,” Odorizzi said. “The base has been there since they created the game. It's how it happened. It just wasn't in the cards.”

Said Hechavarria: “If it didn’t hit the base, then I have it. I’d grab it. One hundred percent. When I saw it hit the bag, I reacted it and waited for it. I was right there. Bare-handed it and threw it, just didn’t get him.”

Still, it was an impressive outing by Odorizzi, who has struggled as of late. Odorizzi had

Kiermaier frustrated in his at-bat against Twins./CARMEN MANDATO

Kiermaier frustrated in his at-bat against Twins./CARMEN MANDATO

been 1-3 with a 6.45 ERA in his last five starts, and he had more walks (17) than strikeouts (15) over that span,

The Rays have now won 10 of their last 15, and they closed to within two games of the final wild-card spot with the win. The Rays are now 70-70 on the year.

When Rays' manager Kevin Cash removed Odorizzi in the seventh, he was booed by the crowd.

“Odorizzi was outstanding,” Cash said. “That’s probably the highlight of the night as far as seeing him good. I know he’s had a tough stretch here. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why our fans were booing him when he came off the field. I thought he threw the ball really well.”

Of course, Cash was joking. After a close win, how could he not?

Miller throws out Buxon in the second inning./CARMEN MANDATO

Miller throws out Buxton in the second inning./CARMEN MANDATO

The Rays had to scuffle off 44-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colon to win. Lucas Duda hit a homer — at the time, it was his sixth hit in his last 50 at bats, all of them homers — and drove in Evan Longoria with a double for both RBI.

The Twins made it interesting in the ninth inning, however, as Robbie Grossman hit a homer into the Rays' tank in right. The Twins got runners to first and third with one out, leading to Hechavarria's game-ending double play.

“Big day by Lucas,” Cash said. “I know he’s been fighting himself at the plate. Really good to see him hit the home run and then the double. Colon was tough. He moved the ball around. For what he does and how he is able to command the baseball, he locates as well as anybody, and he did again tonight, but it was nice to see Lucas get him twice.”

It was the 42nd save of the year by Alex Colome, and the 13th straight conversion. In his last 24 appearances, he has a 1.48 ERA.

The Rays try to sweep the Twins today when Blake Snell pitches against Minnesota's Aaron Slegers. Game time is 1:10 p.m. at the Trop.

Colome and Ramos celebrate another save./CARMEN MANDATO

Colome and Ramos celebrate another save./CARMEN MANDATO

 

 

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