Tampa Bay Rays
Rays notes: Team glad to be back at the Trop
The Tampa Bay Rays have played 18 of their last 24 games away from Tropicana Field, so the long homestand that begins tonight is welcomed.
“This last month it feels like we've been on the road every day,” said Jeremy Hellickson, tonight's starter as Tampa Bay opens a four-game series with Toronto. “We had a homestand (six games), but it felt like we weren't home at all, so it will be nice to get back home.”
Maddon sees this as a good chance for his team to smooth out a few problems.
“I want to believe we can get our pitching back in order in our ballpark,” he said. “That's one of the things I'm looking forward to more than anything. The offense is the sexy part of the game, but we don't win unless we pitch like we can, and we have not pitched like we can to this point.”
After four games with the Blue Jays (last in AL East), there are three with the Padres (last in NL West) and three with the Red Sox (first in AL East). The first seven games offer the Rays (14-16) a chance to get above .500.
“It would be a good time to go out and sweep everybody, but you can't look that far ahead,” Tampa Bay's Kelly Johnson said. “You just have to do the whole one-game-at-a-time thing; unfortunately you've got to say it, but it's true. Just take care of business that day.” The weather wasn't always kind on the chilly roll through Chicago, Kansas City and Denver. The lowlight was Thursday's infamous rain-snow game in Kansas City. It was 41 degrees with rain falling at first pitch. The Royals led 1-0 in the fourth when the game was stopped. Then it began to snow. After a 2 hours, 20 minute delay, the game was wiped out.
No-no for Durham Jake Odorizzi pitched the first seven innings of a combined no-hitter Sunday as the Rays' Class AAA affiliate in Durham beat host Pawtucket, 2-1, during the final game of a road trip.
Frank De Los Santos, Kirby Yates and Jeff Beliveau combined to get the final six outs.
It was the second no-hitter for the Bulls since they joined the International League and the first no-hitter in Pawtucket's McCoy Stadium since it opened in 1970.
“It was definitely an exciting way to end a long road trip,” Odorizzi said.
The PawSox got a run in the ninth inning on what became a sacrifice fly after Rich Thompson made a catch at the wall.
“That was that play you see in every no-hitter,” Odorizzi said.
This was the second time Odorizzi was involved in a no-hitter. He pitched the first innings of one when he was in Class A.
“Everything was going my way,” he said of Sunday's performance. “The defense was good behind me. It seemed like everything was hit right at someone. Just kind of one of those days where everything goes your way.”
Noteworthy 1B James Loney is batting .398 after going 3-for-4 in Sunday's win, his seventh three-hit game of the season. He was 18-for-35 on the trip with six RBIs. … Johnson had a hit and two RBIs in all three games against the Rockies … RHP Alex Cobb had allowed only three home runs to right-handed hitters during his career. He allowed three homers to right-handers Sunday.