MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - INSIDE PITCH


ST. LOUIS -- The odds seemed long that Tampa Bay rookie starter Jake Odorizzi would mark his "homecoming" start with a win, much less an RBI against Adam Wainwright, the St. Louis pitcher he grew up watching in nearby Highland, Ill.

If one were inclined to bet the long shot Tuesday night, the wager would have cashed in heavily. Not only did Odorizzi notch a 7-2 win with 5 2/3 effective innings, but he also drove in a run in his first professional at-bat with a perfect suicide squeeze in the second inning.

"I didn't think there would be an RBI chance," Odorizzi joked.

There weren't many run-scoring opportunities for the Cardinals after Odorizzi settled down and used the stuff that is allowing him to fan more than 10 hitters per nine innings. Going with fastballs and cutters as his primary offerings, Odorizzi struck out eight.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Odorizzi was far more effective over the past six weeks because he learned how to employ his pitches more judiciously.

"He's been utilizing the fastball more and sprinkling in his breaking ball," Maddon said. "Earlier, he was throwing too many breaking balls. He's been pitching well for a while."

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MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 48-53

STREAK: Won six

NEXT: Rays (RHP Alex Cobb, 5-6, 4.08 ERA) at Cardinals (RHP Lance Lynn, 11-6, 3.13 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--INF/OF Jerry Sands underwent season-ending surgery to repair a strained tendon in his left wrist Tuesday in Cleveland, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Sands landed on the disabled list June 23. He faces a three- to 3 1/2-month recovery, according to the Times.

--RHP Jake Odorizzi had a happy homecoming, working 5 2/3 innings and earning his sixth win of the year Tuesday night. Odorizzi picked up eight strikeouts, using his cutter effectively to get several swings and misses. He also became the first Tampa Bay pitcher to record an RBI since Brandon Gomes drew a bases-loaded walk on June 24, 2012, in Philadelphia. Odorizzi knocked in a run with a second-inning squeeze bunt.

--RHP Alex Cobb will get the start Wednesday night when Tampa Bay finishes a brief series and road trip in St. Louis. Cobb is coming off a 6-2 win Friday night in Minnesota, when he pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowing five hits, two runs and two walks. He struck out two. This will be his first-ever appearance against the Cardinals. The first pitch is critical for Cobb, who allows just a .214 on-base percentage when ahead 0-1 but is touched for a .404 OBP when behind 1-0.

--RHP Joel Peralta (illness) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to July 13. Peralta was bitten by a mosquito in the Dominican Republic over the All-Star break but has not contracted the chikungunya virus, which can cause joint pain and arthritic symptoms, despite reports suggesting he did. Peralta is 2-3 with a 4.15 in 43 appearances, recording 44 strikeouts in 39 innings.

--LHP Jeff Beliveau was recalled from Triple-A Durham to replace RHP Joel Peralta (illness) on the active roster. Beliveau is making his fifth tour of duty this year with the Rays and ninth over the past two seasons. He has a 1.50 ERA and 11 saves in 30 games at Durham, whiffing 51 in 36 innings. The former Cub is one of two big-leaguers to graduate from Rhode Island's Bishop Hendricken High School. The other was former Rays OF Rocco Baldelli.

--3B Evan Longoria's solo homer in the ninth produced the 593rd RBI of his career, giving him the club record. Longoria, who has 12 RBIs in his past 14 games, extended his modest hitting streak to five games. He played in his 181st consecutive game.