The Rays bats stayed quiet, managing just two hits total, as Jon Lester was perfect through six innings, on their way to a 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Entrenched as the probable fourth starter going into the regular season, Alex Cobb has his worst outing of the spring. Cobb, making his fifth start, allowed four runs, three earned, and six hits in 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. Even after today’s rough outing, he sports just a mere 2.23 ERA over 19 1/3 innings so far in spring training. Cobb has looked sharp so far this year and Tampa Bay is hoping he continues to grow as all hands on deck will be needed to make up for the loss of James Shields. Entering today’s game Cobb was looking to continue a 12 inning scoreless streak. “I’ll probably lose some sleep over it tonight,” he said. “But I’ll be back tomorrow.” It was also Cobb’s longest start this spring as the Rays are looking to stretch him out as the regular season draws closer. The good news here is that Cobb did have 5 strikeouts while issuing only 1 walk.
The Rays weakness showed today as their offense was held in check, by Jon Lester for the most part, mustering only 2 hits off Red Sox pitching. Jason Bourgeois managed an infield single in the ninth inning, and making it to second on a passed ball. Cole Figueroa then crushed a ball to center that bounced over the wall for a ground rule double, scoring Bourgeois for the Rays only run off Marco Duarte.
While it wasn’t a pretty game for the Rays, some good did come out of the game. Evan Longoria made a spectacular one handed grab and throw to first to beat out Jose Iglesias on a bunt attempt. This could be good as last year’s hamstring injury hopefully will be a thing of the past. Will Inman, coincidentally playing against his former team, also had a solid game pitching a scoreless eighth while striking out one. Inman could provide some depth for the Rays and will start the season in Durham.