Too Many Swings and Misses – Rays 4, Cubs 0

Game One Hundred Fifteen: Cubs 0, Rays 4

WP – Jake Odorizzi (8-9) LP – Edwin Jackson (6-12) Save – None

A day after striking out 12 times, the Cubs struck out 15 more times Saturday afternoon as the Cubs lost the second game of the series to the Rays. The Cubs managed five hits, six total baserunners, and were shutout for the 13th time on the season.

The offense could not put the ball in play against Jake Odorizzi. The Cubs managed three hits with only one runner making it to second base in six innings against the talented right hander. Odorizzi struck out six of the first nine batters he faced and ended up with nine strikeouts on the afternoon.

Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a double) was the only Cub to reach second base Saturday before the ninth inning, and not a single runner reached third base. Starlin Castro (2-for-4), Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) and Justin Ruggiano (1-for-2 and a HBP) recorded singles Saturday afternoon. The Cubs put two runners on base for the first time in the ninth inning.

PrintEdwin Jackson had two rough innings in the six he pitched Saturday afternoon, but still ended up with his second straight quality start.

Edwin Jackson started elevating his pitches in the fourth and the Rays’ offense pounded the baseball. If not for an excellent diving catch by Arismendy Alcantara in right center that took away extra bases and a RBI from James Loney, Jackson’s line might have looked a little worse. Jackson gave up two runs in the fourth and Javier Baez’s first big league error, extended the sixth inning for the Rays. Tampa was able to tack on a pair of runs and put the game away.

Edwin Jackson turned the game over to the pen in the seventh inning. Jackson gave up four runs, three earned, on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Jackson threw 93 pitches, 59 for strikes, in six innings.

Chris Rusin struck out two and allowed a hit in two scoreless innings in relief of Edwin Jackson. Kyuji Fujikawa made his second appearance of the season in the ninth and retired the side in order (14 pitches, seven for strikes).

Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-3) made two excellent catches in centerfield Saturday afternoon. Alcantara ran in and made a diving catch to take away a hit from Kevin Kiermaier in the third and a came out of nowhere to make a diving catch in the gap in right center to take away a run scoring hit from James Loney in the fourth inning.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 49-66 on the season.

Ben Zobrist led off the fourth inning of a scoreless game with a deep fly to right (1-2 pitch) that on a day the wind wasn’t blowing in would have been long gone. Justin Ruggiano tracked it to the wall but the ball hit off his glove and into the ivy. The ball disappeared and Zobrist was given a double, to the dismay of Joe Maddon. James Loney appeared to hit a gapper into right center as Edwin Jackson continued elevating his pitches. But Arismendy Alcantara came out of nowhere and made a diving catch to take away a run scoring hit from Loney. Zobrist tagged and went to third. Evan Longoria doubled to left, Zobrist scored and the Rays took a 1-0 lead. Jackson struck out Matt Joyce swinging and jumped ahead of Escobar 0-2. But Jackson could not put him away. Yunel Escobar hit a sinking liner into right that Ruggiano had a play on, but pulled up then did not throw to the plate. Ruggiano fell asleep and the Rays went up 2-0 when Longoria scored. Jose Molina grounded out to Rizzo for the third out. Jackson needed 58 pitches, 37 for strikes, to complete four innings.

The Cubs managed a Starlin Castro single in the fourth with two outs, but that was all. Jake Odorizzi struck out nine batters in the first four innings … 56 pitches for Odorizzi after four, 44 for strikes.

The Cubs trailed 2-0 after four innings.

Jackson retired the side in order in the fifth (65 pitches, 42 for strikes) and the Cubs went down 1-2-3 in the home half. Jake Odorizzi was in total control and needed 77 pitches, 58 for strikes, to complete five innings.

Edwin Jackson lost his command in the sixth, and his defense could not pick him up. Jackson issued a leadoff walk to Zobrist. After Loney flied out to center, Longoria pulled a 0-1 pitch toward the hole at short. Valbuena made an excellent diving stop, got to his feet quickly and threw to second. Javier Baez took his eyes off the ball, and dropped it. With runners on first and second with one out after the error, Jackson walked Joyce to load the bases. Chris Bosio made a visit, but Jackson fell behind Yunel Escobar, 2-0. Jackson left a fastball out and over the plate that Escobar pounded into centerfield. Zobrist and Longoria scored, 4-0 Rays. Jose Molina hit a slow roller to third that advanced the runners to second and third with two down. Jake Odorizzi, hitting in the eighth spot in the lineup, struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs managed their third hit of the game in the sixth, a two-out double to left by Javier Baez on the tenth pitch of the at bat, but Anthony Rizzo lined out to Zobrist in the shift (shallow right) to end the inning.

The Cubs trailed 4-0 after six innings.

And that is the way the game ended. The Cubs offense could not put the ball in play against the Rays pen until the ninth inning while Chris Rusin and Kyuji Fujikawa pitched three scoreless frames in relief of Edwin Jackson.

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Alex Cobb on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt