MIAMI (AP) — Back on the mound for the first time in more than two weeks, Jake Odorizzi wasn’t keen to leave.
The right-hander returned from the disabled list Monday, departed reluctantly after five innings and combined with four relievers on a four-hitter that helped the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 Monday night.
Odorizzi made his first start since April 15 and allowed two hits and two runs, one earned. He was pulled by manager Kevin Cash after 78 pitches.
“I felt great. I felt strong, almost a little too strong,” Odorizzi said. “I could have gone longer from where I’m sitting, but it’s not my decision.”
Odorizzi was activated before the game after recovering from a strained left hamstring. Cash decided to pull him with the score 2-all.
“We can debate the workload,” Cash said. “That decision was made in his best interest and ours. Sometimes you’re going to make some decisions that don’t make everybody happy.”
The move paid off when the Rays’ overworked bullpen shut out Miami on two hits over the final four innings. Danny Farquhar (1-1) pitched a perfect sixth, Chris Whitley came on to retire Christian Yelich with two on to end the eighth, and Alex Colome earned his sixth save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
“They’re doing really well,” Odorizzi said. “They just need some breaks. The starting staff, we need to go six or seven innings consistently to give those guys a break so they’re going to be fresh later in the year.”
The Rays’ Corey Dickerson made a leaping grab before crashing into the left-field wall to rob Adeiny Hechavarria of an extra-base hit in the fifth, and a sliding catch of Giancarlo Stanton’s sinking liner leading off the ninth.
Tim Beckham had a two-run double for the Rays , who improved to 4-10 on the road. They totaled only five hits, but Miami pitchers issued eight walks.
Miami’s Marcell Ozuna hit his seventh homer into the swimming pool in the nightclub beyond left field, and three fans jumped in battling to retrieve the souvenir. Wei-Yin Chen allowed two runs in six innings for the Marlins, who lost for the fifth time in six games.
The score was 3-all when Derek Norris started the seventh with a double off Brad Ziegler (1-1) and later came home from third when Kevin Kiermaier broke up a potential inning-ending double play by sliding hard into Dee Gordon at second base.
Miami manager Don Mattingly challenged the call, but a review upheld the ruling that Kiermaier’s slide was legal.
“When he stands up, you think that’s when Dee can’t throw,” Mattingly said. “You really can’t finish the throw.”
Beckham hit a two-out, two-run double in the fourth to give the Rays a 2-1 lead. Daniel Robertson had a two-out RBI single in the eighth.
Gordon’s speed helped Miami score an unearned run without a hit in the first. He led off with a walk, stole second, continued to third when the throw was wild, and came home on Yelich’s sacrifice fly.
Gordon had two hits and three stolen bases.
“You know he’s going to run,” Cash said, “and there’s not much you can do about it.”
Robertson staggered as he caught J.T. Realmuto’s popup to third and then fell into a backward somersault in the seventh.
Rays 3B Evan Longoria was held out because of a lingering bout with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He hopes to start Tuesday.
To make room on the roster for Odorizzi, the Rays optioned RHP Ryan Garton to Triple-A Durham.
RHP Alex Cobb (1-2, 4.66 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Rays against Marlins RHP Edinson Volquez (0-3, 4.44).
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