Hard-luck Odorizzi shakes off lack of run support

Right-hander allows two runs over six innings vs. Braves; drops to 3-4

Hard-luck Odorizzi shakes off lack of run support

ATLANTA -- If Jake Odorizzi didn't have hard luck, he wouldn't have any luck at all.

The Rays right-hander fell to 3-4 on the season after notching his team-leading eighth quality start in nine outings this season in a 2-1 loss to the Braves.

"I thought Odo was outstanding again," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I thought he mixed his pitches really well. He's pretty fine-tuned, as far as the fastball-changeup combination. He was able to create some depth with his changeup early and finish some guys off with the changeup and also some fastballs outside of the zone."

Wednesday night he allowed two runs in six innings, but got tagged with the loss.

"You feel for him because he's pitched really well all year," Cash said. "At the same time, he's a pro. He gets it. He just keeps going out there giving us what we need."

Run support for the Rays right-hander has been sparse. The Rays have scored just 15 runs in his starts this season. That's an average of 1.66 runs per game.

"It's something I really can't think about," Odorizzi said. "I had a part in it today. It's just something I don't really control and don't worry about. They're not trying to not score runs."

Added Cash: "We know we need to get runs, and for him, but we'll take those outings, six innings and two runs, any day."

Cash allowed that Odorizzi has just been in the bad slot in the rotation thus far.

"That's just kind of the way it goes," Cash said. "You look back on starting rotations, there's always one guy who really benefits from it. There's one guy who doesn't benefit. And there's three others that kind of just average out over the course of the year."

While Odorizzi pitched well, Wednesday night's start was the first time he's failed to pitch into the seventh inning this season. He also allowed two walks after going four games without allowing any.

Odorizzi is 0-2 in his last three starts despite compiling a 2.89 ERA over the stretch.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.