ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brandon Woodruff made up for lost time in his delayed debut.
Woodruff allowed seven hits in 6 1/3 innings after finally taking a major league mound nearly two months after planned, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Friday night.
“This is what every kid dreams of, and I’m glad that it happened this way my first time around,” Woodruff said.
Orlando Arcia homered and scored both runs for the Brewers on his 23rd birthday.
Woodruff (1-0) had been slated to make his major league debut at St. Louis on June 13 but was scratched because of a tight hamstring. After a stint on the disabled list he made three Triple-A rehab starts, throwing a maximum of 69 pitches.
“When that happened in St. Louis I was pretty tore up about it,” he said, “but it was for sure worth the wait.”
The 24-year-old right-hander walked two and struck out six, throwing 97 pitches.
“What was so impressive to me was the composure that he handled the first two innings with,” said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell. “He wasn’t getting hit hard but it took him a while to get into the rhythm of the game and I thought he handled himself really well in those tough spots.”
Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 21st save, recording three of the game’s 24 strikeouts.
Arcia’s three hits included a triple off Rays starter Jake Faria in the third and his 10th home run of the season in the eighth. Eric Thames followed the triple with an RBI single.
The Rays left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings and put eight of their first 14 batters on base against Woodruff.
“He got into some jams early on, made some pitches and we couldn’t get that big hit for whatever reason,” said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash.
Tampa Bay’s most serious scoring threat came in the seventh, when Evan Longoria doubled off reliever Josh Hader with Corey Dickerson on first base. Dickerson was thrown out at the plate on a relay throw by Arcia.
“He was the offense tonight and he was the defense tonight, too,” Counsell said.
Faria (5-2) gave up one run on four hits while striking out nine in six innings.
Logan Morrison had three of Tampa Bay’s nine hits.
BREWERS: RHP Chase Anderson, who was placed on the disabled list June 29 with a left oblique strain, will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday or Wednesday. … C Steven Vogt (left knee sprain) had his first batting practice session. His next step will be to catch a BP session.
RAYS: IF Daniel Robertson was activated after spending almost six weeks on the disabled list with neck spasms, which were cured by a nerve-block injection. Robertson started at shortstop.
RELIEF FOR THE RELIEVERS
The Rays optioned LHP Blake Snell and recalled LHP Jose Alvarado in a move designed to provide relief for an overworked bullpen. With Alvarado and Robertson, the Rays have seven players, including five pitchers, who were not on the active roster when they ended their last homestand July 26.
The Brewers will send 12-game winner RHP Zach Davies (12-5, 4.42) out to face RHP Alex Cobb (9-7, 3.89) in Saturday night’s game. Cobb had a run of strong starts interrupted by Monday’s loss at Houston in which he gave up eight runs in three innings.