3/1/2013 4:10 P.M. ET
Odorizzi starts solid, Archer sharp in relief vs. Toronto
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Brett Lawrie and Ricardo Nanita each homered off right-hander Jake Odorizzi to propel the Blue Jays to a 5-4 victory over the Rays on Friday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Odorizzi, who was acquired during the offseason as part of the package for James Shields, cruised through the first but experienced some difficulty in the second. He surrendered a one-out single to J.P. Arencibia and then the two-run blast to Lawrie.
Lawrie's first homer of the spring likely received a little bit of help with the weather conditions. It appeared as though the high shot to center was going to be a relatively easy catch for Desmond Jennings but the ball kept carrying and eventually traveled over the wall to give Toronto an early 2-1 lead.
Nanita then followed two batters later with a solo shot to right. Unlike Lawrie's homer, this one was a no doubter and came on a liner that easily surpassed the 336-foot marker. Odorizzi was charged with all three runs on five hits while striking out three over two innings of work.
Odorizzi was replaced by Chris Archer, who has an outside chance of cracking Tampa Bay's starting five. Archer easily dispensed of the Blue Jays throughout his outing and allowed only one baserunner while striking out one over three innings.
Left-hander Mark Buehrle got the call for Toronto and improved on his last outing despite somewhat of a rough start to the game. Buehrle issued a leadoff walk in the first and a bloop single to Matt Joyce later in the frame, which put runners on the corners with one out.
Buehrle then got the ground ball he was looking for but second baseman Emilio Bonifacio made a wide throw to first on a tailor-made double-play ball, which allowed the inning to continue and a run to score. Buehrle came back out for the second and was charged with just the one run on three hits while striking out two over a pair of innings.
Up next for Rays: Alex Cobb will start against the Orioles in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Charlotte Sports Park. Cobb is slated to be the Rays' No. 4 starter. Fernando Rodney will be making his last outing before reporting to the Dominican Republic team for the World Baseball Classic. Also scheduled to see action are Juan Sandoval, Alex Torres, Brandon Gomes and Josh Lueke.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.