Tampa Bay Rays made it six wins in a row with a thumping 7-2 victory over St Louis while homegrown talent Jake Odorizzi was cheered by the Cardinal crowd despite inflicting back-to-back losses on the home team.
A game-winning performance from Odorizzi and a mammoth five run fifth inning crush led by Yunel Escobar saw the Rays win comfortably in front of over 43,000 St Louis fans at Busch Stadium.
The six wins stretch back before the All-Star break to July 12 and the Rays have outscored their opponents impressively with a 36-11 run. The records are quickly approaching for the Rays after last night’s effort was their seventh away win on the bounce, which is just one away from equalling their franchise record.
The victory was largely down to the destructive fifth innings when All-Star Adam Wainwright imploded and conceded five runs, including a two-run double by Escobar. It was the first game for Wainwright since his appearance at the All-Star game last week but the starting pitcher had a night to forget after giving up six runs, four earned, in 4 2/3 innings.
Wainwright had the opportunity to become the first National League pitcher to notch up 13 wins in 2014 but was given the loss to fall to 12-5 for the season. Despite Wainwright’s struggles and Escobar’s heroics with the bat, there was arguably a bigger cheer for the Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
He is the new hometown hero with over 500 fans celebrated and cheered the 24-year-old who is playing his rookie full length season, according to cbssports.com.
Odorizzi grew up just 33 miles from St Louis in the town of Highland in Illinois. The youngster pitched 5 2/3 inning and went for just two runs to keep the Rays defence tight as the batters got to work.
Tight at the Top
The victory marked the halfway point of the short two-game series between the Cardinals and the Rays.
Tampa Bay (48-53) moved off the bottom of the highly competitive American League East division and are now eight games behind leaders Baltimore. Just .081 of winning percentages separate top from bottom, underling the tight and competitive nature of the AL East which will probably receive the wildcard spot for the divisional series.
St Louis Cardinals (54-46) have now slipped from top spot of the National League Central division after losing back-to-back games. Their nearest rivals, Milwaukee Brewers (56-45) have won back-to-back in the same time and now have a 1.5 game lead at the top.