After a rough July in which he went 1-4 with a 5.32 ERA, Alex Cobb had to be looking forward to August. With the new month, he delivered.
Cobb survived a shaky first inning, lasting seven innings for the 4-1 victory over the Oakland A’s. After hitting leadoff batter Jemile Weeks with a pitch, Cobb got two quick outs before loading the bases. He escaped the jam by striking out Brandon Moss, and proceeded to set down the next ten batters in a row.
The Rays scored in the top of the first, as Desmond Jennings led off with a single to right center. With two outs and Jennings at third, Matthew Joyce singled, giving the Rays the early 1-0 lead. The Rays scored again with two out in the top of the fourth inning, as Ryan Roberts‘ base hit drove in Jeff Keppinger, putting the lead to 2-0.
Tampa had an opportunity to tack on more runs in the top of the fifth. With one out and runners on second and third, the A’s drew the infield in. Ben Zobrist grounded to the shortstop, and, after a brief rundown, Elliot Johnson was tagged out. Joyce then grounded out to first to end the threat.
Oakland got to Cobb in the bottom of the inning, as Brandon Inge led off with a solo home run, cutting the lead to 2-1. That was all Cobb would allow, as he went 7 innings, allowing just the 1 earned run on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 hit batter while striking out 6.
Carlos Pena drove in insurance runs in the top of the sixth with an RBI double, and a solo home run in the top of the eighth. For the day, he went 2-4 with 2 RBI and the home run. Desmond Jennings was 2-3 with 1 double and 2 walks.
The Rays finished off their road trip with a 6-3 record, and will play again Friday night in Tampa, facing off against the Baltimore Orioles.
Game Notes: The Rays went 2-1 against each team (Baltimore, Anaheim, and Oakland) they faced on the road trip. The Rays have now won three consecutive series on a road trip for only the fourth time in franchise history.