SPRING TRAINING: Odorizzi works on off-speed pitches, Rays can’t hold on in extras; preview of today’s game

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

TAMPA — Jake Odorizzi was specifically working on his off-speed pitches in Tuesday’s outing against the Yankees, which likely cost him the length he would’ve liked to.

That’s kind of why my pitch count got up there,” Odorizzi said. “I was throwing off-speed in counts I normally wouldn’t. … It’s nice to work in and out of jams in spring training rather than in April.”

Scheduled to throw 45 pitches or three innings, Odorizzi tossed 48 pitches over two innings, with 31 of them coming in the first frame.

Odorizzi allowed one run on three hits in that first inning. He totaled four strikeouts while surrendering five hits on the day.

Credit the Yankee hitters a little bit,” manager Kevin Cash said. “They put some long at-bats in there against him to drive his pitch count up. He’s fine and felt good.”

COMING BACK
Prior to Tuesday’s game, Cash said it wouldn’t be a surprise if Logan Morrison was the designated hitter tonight against Team Colombia. Morrison, recovering from offseason wrist surgery, has slowly been recovering. Cash said a few days ago that – shockingly – the wrist is more bothersome for Morrison when he throws the ball, rather than when he hits.

SHARING SOME ARMS
Since tonight’s game against Team Colombia is even less meaningful than your typical spring training game, the Rays will lend a few pitchers to their counter parts for the game. Neil Wagner, Jeff Ames and Diego Moreno – all minor leaguers – will all pitcher for the Colombian team.

PITCHING WELL
The Rays entered Tuesday’s game against the Yankees with Major League Baseball’s best strikeout-to-walk ratio. Tampa Bay pitchers had whiffed 97 batters to only 23 walks. They added to that on Tuesday with eight strikeouts and three walks.

YANKEES 7, RAYS 6 (10 innings)

HITTER OF THE GAME
Ryan Brett, Rays: 
The infielder hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth inning to eventually force extras. He also made a great play in the bottom of the same frame to help preserve the tie at the time.

PITCHER OF THE GAME
Taylor Guerrieri, Rays: 
He tossed two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out a pair. This was his first outing since a mishap last week which left him with a few stitches near his eye.

KEY INNING
Top 6: 
The Rays bats were mostly quiet up until that point. It wasn’t until Willy Adames and Corey Dickerson went back-to-back with home runs in nearly identical spots in left field.

PROSPECT WATCH
Willy Adames, Rays:
 The 21-year-old had probably his best offensive day of the spring. First, he hit a home run to get the Rays on the scoreboard, and then gave them a 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly to the opposite field.

THEY SAID IT
At the end of the day, I want the spot. I want to be in the big leagues. I know Luke (Maile) and Jesus (Sucre) and Michael (McKenry) will say the same thing, but I’m not going to go down without a fight, I can tell you that.”

— Rays Catcher Curt Casali on the position’s competition.

TODAY’S GAME

WHO: TEAM COLOMBIA (WBC) at TAMPA BAY (6-4-1)
WHEN: Today, 6:35 p.m.
WHERE: Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte
SCHEDULED STARTERS: RH Chase Whitley vs. TBD
PITCHING PROBABLES
RAYS:
  RH Chase Whitley (start), RH Jose De Leon, RH Erasmo Ramirez, LH Xavier Cedeno, LH Dana Eveland, RH Danny Farquhar.
COLOMBIA:  TBD

ON DECK

THURSDAY: vs. Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m.FRIDAYat Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. SATURDAYat Boston, 1:05 p.m. SUNDAY: vs. Toronto, 1:05 p.m.MONDAY:  at Minnesota, 1:05 p.m. 

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