In the 5th inning of Saturday’s game, the Rays experienced their scariest moment of the season as Alex Cobb was hit in the head by an Eric Hosmer line drive. Cobb immediately fell to the ground and quickly exited the game on a stretcher. Luckily Cobb has about the best prognosis everyone could have hoped for, only suffering a mild concussion. Regardless of that, though, Cobb’s exit only added additional adversity for a Rays team that had lost 5 of their last 6 games. The Rays could have had an excuse to crumble even more. But instead, they rose up to the occasion and found a way to finally get back in the win column as they defeated the Royals 5-3.
Before he departed, Cobb went 4.1 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 3 while walking 3. The much-maligned Rays bullpen had to find a way to hold the Royals down for the remaining 4.1 frames. How would they do that? Well, the easy part was going to be handing the ball to Alex Torres. The rookie left-hander just continues to befuddle whoever he faces, striking out 4 of the 5 batters he faced in this one on his way to 1.2 perfect innings. Torres has a 0.00 ERA, just 3 hits allowed, and a 23-3 strikeout to walk ratio in 16 innings pitched. He rightfully earned the win in his game for the efforts. Jake McGee, Joel Peralta, and Fernando Rodney allowed just 1 run combined in tossing the final 3 innings to seal the Rays’ win.
In an ironic twist, Luke Scott sure seemed like a dead duck. The 35 year old designated hitter entered Saturday’s contest having gone just 10 for his last 60 (.167) to lower his average to .228 on the season, and with top prospect Wil Myers mashing in Triple-A as he waits for a big league opportunity, it seemed everything like Scott would be the player who would be released to get Myers his chance. Apparently Scott didn’t get the memo. He went 2 for 2 on Thursday before successfully pinch-hitting on Friday, and then on Saturday he staked the Rays to the lead with a 2-run home run, his first since May 19th, in the 3rd inning. Scott went 2 for 3 with a walk in the game as his turnaround may be just getting started. Matthew Joyce also homered in the 5th inning before Evan Longoria went deep in the 6th to give the Rays 4 of their 5 runs on their way to a pretty smooth win all things considered. Cobb will remain a concern, but at least they nailed down a win and have a chance to earn a split with the Royals with a win in the series finale on Sunday. Roberto Hernandez, the Rays’ most dependable pitcher of late, takes the ball against former Ray Wade Davis at 1:40 PM EST.