ST. PETERSBURG -- The state of Jake Odorizzi's right foot turned out to be the only good news the Rays could take away from Wednesday night's 8-2 loss to the Red Sox at Tropicana Field.
"I dodged a bullet for what could have been," said Odorizzi, who had to leave the game in the fifth after Eduardo Nunez hit a ball that struck his right foot. X-rays were negative and the injury is being called a right foot contusion. He is day to day.
Odorizzi took his fifth loss of the season. Meanwhile, the American League East-leading Red Sox (65-49) maintained their four-game lead over the Yankees, who defeated Toronto, 11-5, on Wednesday night. Tampa Bay (58-57) is now 7 1/2 games behind Boston and are one-game back of Seattle for the second AL Wild Card spot.
"It's going to be all right," said Odorizzi of his injury. "It just got some nerves in there, more so than bone. Bones are fine. So that's all the matters. It was right below my ankle and above the bottom of my foot. Flush, but the bones are good. I guess I've got that."
The Rays are not planning to make any changes in their rotation.
"As it stands right now, we are optimistic that he should be able to make his [next] start," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "That could change just given how sore he is tomorrow."
That is particularly good news for the Rays given the fact they placed Alex Cobb on the disabled list on Tuesday.
Odorizzi had logged four innings when Nunez led off the Red Sox fifth. He threw a 2-2 fastball to Nunez, who hit the ball back through the middle and off Odorizzi's right foot. Odorizzi fell face first on the mound before left the field with his arms draped around the shoulders of Cash and a Rays trainer.
Odorizzi allowed that he was surprised the injury wasn't worse than what it turned out to be.
"It was a weird sensation," Odorizzi said. "As soon as it hit me, it started burning and I had no sensation in it. So I was kind of expecting the worse, but we got the best news. ... I'll be all right, and if all things go as they should, I should be good to go for my next start. So we just dodged a big bullet."
Odorizzi was making his first start after a stint on the 10-day DL with a lower back strain and was having a tough night.
The Red Sox scored their first run when he dropped a toss to him while covering first base that would have been the final out of the third inning. Instead, the Red Sox took a 1-0 lead.
Odorizzi needed 73 pitches to navigate the first three innings. He recovered to have an 11-pitch fourth inning, leaving him at 84 pitches and trailing, 1-0, entering the fifth. That's when the right-hander took a rocket off Nunez's bat that had an exit velocity of 92 mph.
"A little bit [rusty], but I felt good body-wise," Odorizzi said. "My back felt great. So that was the main takeaway. It was just kind of one of those situations where it was death by foul ball tonight. There were a lot of foul balls. Drove the pitch count up. It's a product of a good team.
"They were just spoiling pitches, spoiling pitches, so from a body standpoint, I felt really good. I thought I executed some pitches really well. I think I can improve, just need to get some more early-count outs."
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.