- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Jake Odorizzi threw 42 pitches in a rocky first inning and never really recovered.

Two of those pitches went for home runs and the Oakland Athletics beat the Rays 6-3 on Friday night in Tampa Bay’s fourth straight loss.

“Two splits that weren’t that good,” Odorizzi said. “They were kind of identical, to be honest.”

Danny Valencia hit his first two home runs of the season in his first game back from a hamstring injury for the A’s, who broke a five-game losing streak. Valencia sat for two games this week after reinjuring the left hamstring that had landed him on the disabled list.

Rich Hill (5-3) pitched six innings to win for the fourth time in his last five starts. A diving catch by Valencia at third base helped Ryan Madson work out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn his ninth save.

Khris Davis and Valencia homered off Odorizzi (0-2) in the first inning, but the right-hander’s troubles started with Billy Burns’ on the 14th pitch of his at-bat.

“He fouled off a lot of pitches (11) on that at-bat, and I threw every pitch I had,” Odorizzi said. “A lot of good locations. Then he just fisted that ball to left field. I was trying to make good pitches and I thought I did. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

“(Burns) set the tone right there,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I’m not going to say it wore Jake down, but I can’t imagine how it doesn’t frustrate Jake because it restarted us in the dugout.”

Marcus Semien put the A’s up 5-2 in the fourth with his ninth home run before Valencia added his second homer, off reliever Dana Eveland in the sixth.

“You don’t really feel it off the bat when you hit it really good, and that’s how I felt today,” Valencia said. “It was nice. I’ve had a zero in that column and it’s the middle of May so it’s definitely nice to get in that column finally.”

Hill retired 12 straight after giving up two runs on three walks and RBI singles by Steve Pearce and Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning. The left-hander gave up three runs on four hits while striking out seven.

Evan Longoria drove in Tampa Bay’s final run with a double in the fifth.

Desmond Jennings walked three times and scored twice for the Rays, who have lost four straight.

Odorizzi became the first Rays pitcher in nine years to go winless in his first eight starts. He gave up five runs on seven hits, including three homers, in four innings.


The starting pitchers combined to throw 75 pitches in the first inning. … All nine of Semien’s team-high nine home runs have come from the ninth spot in the batting order. … Rays leadoff hitter Brandon Guyer was hit by Madson’s pitch in the ninth, his major league-leading 12th HBP of the season.


Rays: 2B Logan Forsythe was out of the lineup for a third straight game with a bruised left shoulder. … RHP Brad Boxberger (adductor surgery) expects to begin a rehab assignment soon after throwing 22 pitches Thursday at extended spring training.


Oakland’s RHP Kendall Graveman (0-3, 10.54 ERA over his last three starts) will pitch Saturday night against RHP Matt Andriese, who gave up one run in a career-high seven innings Sunday in his only major league appearance of the season.

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