9/25/2013 9:10 P.M. ET
Odorizzi reveling in first Major League save
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Jake Odorizzi pitched three scoreless innings on Tuesday night to record his first career Major League save and first professional save since April 11, 2010, when he pitched for the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
"I got the ball and gave it to [equipment manager Chris Westmoreland to be saved]," said Odorizzi, ranked by MLB.com as the Rays' No. 2 prospect.
Usually a starter, the 23-year-old right-hander was recalled on Friday from Triple-A Durham and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in that night's 18-inning win over the Orioles, giving him his first career scoreless appearance.
"It's fun [being in the bullpen during the game]," he said. "It's not like it's a chore."
Despite recording a save, Odorizzi isn't about to come up with any kind of display along the lines of Fernando Rodney's firing of an imaginary arrow.
"I think I'll just stick with high-fiving [catcher] Jose [Molina]," he said.
Rodney laughed when asked about the team's newest closer, Odorizzi.
"Three-inning save, he can have that," Rodney said.
In his last four appearances (two starts) spanning two stints with the Rays, Odorizzi has a 1.04 ERA and 10 strikeouts. He has made it clear that he will do anything to stay with the team, especially during a pennant race.
Jennings, Lobaton, Escobar out of Wednesday's lineup
NEW YORK -- Center fielder Desmond Jennings, shortstop Yunel Escobar and catcher Jose Lobaton were all out of the starting lineup on Wednesday night due to injuries.
Jennings, who has a strained left hamstring, did step up his activity prior to the game.
"First time I actually did anything as far as running or anything like that, but it was all right," said Jennings, who has not played since leaving Sunday's game against the Orioles in the sixth inning. "Just went and jogged a little bit, just to see where we stood right now. It was all right. Obviously, it's not like I can go all out right now, but it's a start."
Escobar and Lobaton had to leave Tuesday night's series opener against the Yankees because of a sore left ankle and a bruised right elbow, respectively.
All are considered day to day. Manager Joe Maddon indicated that Jennings had improved enough to where he might be available for pinch-hitting duties on Wednesday. Lobaton and Escobar were also available to play.
Moore's wildness makes for rare feat
NEW YORK -- Matt Moore mastered the concept of "effectively wild" on Tuesday night, when he became just the second pitcher since 1916 to walk six, throw three wild pitches and not allow a run in five innings.
The only other time it happened was on May 2, 1992, when the Rangers' Roger Pavlik beat the White Sox, 4-2. Pavlik worked six innings, walked six and allowed one hit before leaving with the score 1-0.
In addition, the Rays' 7-0 win on Tuesday night was their 16th shutout of the season, making them the first team since the 1989-90 Athletics to record at least 15 shutouts in consecutive years.
Sternberg, Maddon differ on opinion of Wild Card format
NEW YORK -- On Tuesday, Stu Sternberg said that as the principal owner of the Rays, he'd rather see them play a one-and-done Wild Card Game, because he believes the team that wins that game has a better chance to go all the way than if it had to play a two-out-of-three series to advance to the Division Series.
Sternberg allowed, though, that the fan part of him would prefer a series for the simple fact there would be more baseball to watch.
Despite what his boss thinks, manager Joe Maddon prefers a two-out-of-three series.
"I think so," Maddon said. "It depends on your starting pitching. How rested they are. Who you are going to face. There are so many variables involved in that. I still think the two-out-of-three [series] is more appealing to me than one-and-done -- unless you win the one game."
But when someone pointed out that his team would be fresher if it advanced after playing just one game, Maddon agreed.
"Absolutely, you would be," he said. "But the point is to get to the next series. Otherwise you're going home and you're watching everybody else. I don't know what the right answer is, and I don't pretend to. When I really don't have a clue, I don't have a clue. And this one I don't. I think it's the luck of the draw, how it all turns out, there's a lot of serendipity involved. Rock and roll, whatever the rule is, play it."
Maddon is not looking ahead to playing in the Wild Card Game until the Rays earn a spot in it. He noted that he doesn't know who would pitch in a one-game playoff if the Rays make it.
"I have no clue," he said. "I swear to you. ... I'm not even thinking about Thursday."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.