Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Odorizzi outduels Dickey as Rays top Blue Jays

 Right-hander Jake Odorizzi tossed eight stellar innings to outduel knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and lead the Rays to a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday night at Rogers Centre, spoiling Toronto's home opener.
Odorizzi carried a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed a total of two hits while striking out three. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 14 2/3 innings this season. Dickey yielded two runs over six innings, but he was plagued by five walks, including two in the fourth inning with the bases loaded.
Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. reached base twice with a single and a walk while Desmond Jennings and Allan Dykstra each scored a run. Kevin Pillarwas one of the bright spots for Toronto with his double in the fifth and he later scored on an RBI single by Devon Travis.
Dickey's loss of command: One of Dickey's top goals this season was limiting his number of walks, but the lack of control proved to be an issue against the Rays. Dickey walked three in the fourth inning, including two with the bases loaded for the decisive runs. The veteran knuckleballer finished with five walks, which was one shy of his career high. Despite the free passes, Dickey allowed just the two runs over six innings en route to his second quality start. More >
Walk this way: Jennings started the Rays' fourth with a single and Dykstra followed with a single -- the first of his Major League career. Two outs later, the Rays got busy bringing the pair home with one of the more effective ways the team is scoring this season, by walking. Tim BeckhamDavid DeJesus and Souza drew consecutive walks to push home two runs. The Rays have scored six times this season on bases-loaded walks.
Breaking up the no-no: The Blue Jays were held hitless until Pillar hit a blooper to right field with two outs in the fifth inning. Souza attempted to make a diving grab, but the ball dropped just in front of his outstretched glove. Travis then followed with a sharp single to right and that marked the only time the Blue Jays were able to do any kind of damage against Odorizzi.
"He moves the ball around pretty good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He has a good arm, pitches up and down. Effectively wild you could say. You can't sit there and dig in, he'll run those balls in on you hard and has a good split changeup that he started to develop last year. He's a pretty good pitcher, he really is."
Odorizzi continues to dazzle: The Rays right-hander made his second start of the season and earned a second quality start when he allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three in eight innings. Rays starters Chris ArcherNathan Karns and Odorizzi have been on a roll the last three games, combining for three quality starts while allowing three earned runs and striking out 14 in 22 innings. More >
On the double: With the game on the line in the ninth, the Rays got a much needed strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play. After Jose Bautista drew a leadoff walk from Brad Boxberger, the count went full against Edwin Encarnacion. That's when Bautista took off running, Boxberger struck out Encarnacion on a high fastball, and catcher Rene Rivera threw out Bautista at second. More >
"When he throws a good one, you just have to kind of tip your hat. Just kind of play your chances where you think it's going to go and be aggressive to that." -- Dykstra, on Dickey
On April 13, 2004, Kevin Cash played catcher for the Blue Jays and batted ninth against the Tigers, coming away with his best day in the Major Leagues. The Rays skipper went 4-for-4 with three doubles and two RBIs. Cash never had another four-hit game in the Major Leagues.
The Blue Jays have lost four consecutive home openers for the first time in franchise history. Toronto is 26-13 overall in home openers.
Rays: Right-hander Matt Andriese will make his first Major League start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. ET after making his MLB debut with a scoreless inning of relief against the Marlins last Friday night. Andriese keeps the ball down, using a sinker and a cutter to do so, which could prove effective against the Toronto sluggers.
Blue Jays: Left-hander Daniel Norris will make his second start of the season when the Blue Jays continue their first home series of the season against the Rays on Tuesday. Norris made his season debut against the Yankees and allowed three runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. The only serious blows came on a pair of solo homers by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.

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