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Jake Odorizzi returns as Rays shut down Astros once again

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Well, welcome back, Jake.

Jake Odorizzi gave the Tampa Bay Rays a shot in the arm Saturday afternoon. He returned to the mound for the first time since June 5, when he left with tightness in his left oblique, but didn’t look as if he had been gone at all. He allowed only two hits in his 5 ½ innings and struck out five in a 3-0 victory over the Houston Astros.

For the second straight night, the 1-2-3 reliever combination of Jake McGee, Kevin Jepsen and Brad Boxberger shut down the Astros, who have only seven hits in the first two games of the series. Houston has scored only four runs in its last five games, all defeats.

The Rays scored all of its runs in the second. Rene Rivera drove in two with a single, and Brandon Guyer drove in the third with another. It was enough for the Rays to beat Dallas Keuchel, who was trying to be the first 12-game winning in the American League.

Today, Matt Moore of the Rays, who has an ERA of 8.00, will start against Houston’s Lance McCullers, a native of Tampa.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit [email protected]

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