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Odorizzi sharp in 5th win; Rays win series opener vs. Yankees 5-1

ST. PETERSBURG — Either way, Jake Odorizzi is going to be happy.

Whether that’s because of his fifth win this season for the 26-year-old righty or the 40th win for the Tampa Bay Rays, Odorizzi will always be happy with a win.

“Its not something I control, so its nice to for us to get a win. Period,” said Odorizzi, who has a major-league high 12 no-decisions this season. “”If we win, I’m happy.”

Odorizzi (5-5) was happy Friday evening after pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing six hits and striking out five over 104 pitches against the New York Yankees as the bullpen helped hold onto a 5-1 win in front of 17,856 at Tropicana Field.

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“Odo was outstanding and really threw the ball well,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s been throwing the ball well in his last two starts and it’s nice to see him get a win against the Yankees, probably his toughest loss of the year here at home.”

Odorizzi suffered a loss May 29 after pitching seven innings, giving up one hit (a homer) to the Yankees. However, Odorizzi extended his scoreless streak to 14 2/3 innings, and Rays’ starters have a streak of nine-straight quality starts, their longest since 2014.

“The offense and defense is really backing us (starting pitchers) up,” Odorizzi added, “so it’s easy to make great pitches, to pitch well, when you have that backing you up.”

Logan Forsthye hit his first career lead-off homer in the first, while Corey Dickerson added his 15th this season. The Rays jumped on Yankees starter Ivan Nova (7-6) quickly, building a 5-0 lead before chasing him in the fifth.

Nova, who, along with Odorizzi, was scouted by numerous teams Friday, as both are subject of trade rumors with Monday’s deadline looming, was visibly upset leaving the mound after being pulled, even exchanging words with home-plate umpire Laz Diaz before throwing his glove in the Yankees’ dugout.

“I just felt like I made some pitches that I should have gotten the call, and I let him know,” Nova said. “I didn’t hear what he said.”

“I think he thought some of the pitches were strikes,” Yankees manager Joe Girard said, “(and) I just think it was a command issue. He wasn’t commanding his fastball or his curveball. That, to me, was the difference.”

Dickerson would drive in two RBI, while Steven Souza, Jr. and Evan Longoria both drove in a run a piece.

“That was one of the closest we’ve had to a complete game in a while,” Forsythe said. “Pitching, defense, timely hitting, big hits, bullpen came in a did a great job — a complete game all around. That’s what we’ve been hoping to see and it was nice to see it tonight and maybe get on a little roll.

“Guys are going deeper into games,” he added, “(and) pitch counts are right where they need to be and that keeps the arms in the bullpen fresher. (The pitchers are) all right where they need to be (coming into the games).”

The Rays turned to five relievers out of the pen — Kevin Jepsen, Dylan Floro, Xavier Cedeno, Erasmo Ramirez and Alex Colome — to finish the final 2 1/3 innings, while Colome came on in the ninth with two on and picked up his 23rd save.

The Yankees lone run was allowed by Floro: an RBI single by Mark Teixeria. However, New York was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.

“(There were a) lot of good things offensively tonight, but there were a lot of good things all around,” Cash said. “We’ve played that way some since the break (and) we don’t have wins to support that, but we’re playing the whole game. Those timely hits … hopefully, they continue to come.”

Notes

The Rays placed Logan Morrison (right forearm strain) and Oswaldo Arcia (right elbow strain) on the disabled list Friday. Morrison’s placement is retroactive to July 28, while Arcia’s is July 27. The Rays activated reliever Brad Boxberger from the 15-day DL and recalled Nick Franklin from Triple-A Durham as corresponding moves. … RHP Alex Cobb pitched two scoreless innings for Charlotte Stonecrabs in his third rehab start.

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