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Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi tames Royals in Rays’ big 12-0 victory

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Maybe Jake Odorizzi will never give up another run.

Certainly, Odorizzi is pitching that way for the Tampa Bay Rays. His last three straights – 20 2/3 innings – have been scoreless. He’s given up a total of 13 hits.

Wednesday night, Odorizzi threw a two-hit shutout in six innings, and the Rays won a 12-0 game over a Kansas City team that had had its way with Tampa Bay this season. The Royals had won 12 of 13 games.

“I don’t really know if there’s one certain thing to put a finger on,” Odorizzi said. “Just getting ahead a little better, my fastball’s had some good life to it; my split has been tremendously better than it was at the beginning of the year. So I think the culmination of all of those couple things, like I said—I wouldn’t attribute it to one single thing. At the same time, I don’t really care—I just want it to keep going.”

Tampa Bay scored four in the first and five in the sixth in a rare easy victory. The Rays had 14 hits: three each by Steven Souza and Nick Franklin and two each by Logan Forsythe, Kevin Kiermaier and Brad Miller. Souza, Kiermaier and Miller all had home runs. The Rays also walked seven times.

Odorizzi has 12 no-decisions this season, but he has finally passed .500 at 6-5.

“Things just were rough early, and now things are starting to even out later on. I feel as good now as I did earlier on in the season. I’m just having better results. I just hope it stays this way and my body keeps feeling good. That’s the most important thing.”

For the Rays, Odorizzi has become the best pitcher on the staff.

“Probably the way he has made an effort to get earlier outs,” Cash said about Odorizzi’s success. “Other than Cuthbert today, he really managed his pitches well. He threw a lot of strikes, he attacked. And he did that to (Cheslor) Cuthbert — Cuthbert just had really good at-bats off him for whatever reason. I think he saw [25] pitches—that’s an inning and a half worth of pitches to one hitter. … Since the break, he’s gotten really efficient, and he’s getting some earlier outs.”

The Rays play the Royals today at 12:10 p.m. Drew Smyly is scheduled to pitch against Ian Kennedy.

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 garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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