All eyes were on the mound tonight as Alex Cobb made his return two months to the day since taking a line drive off the head. With only two rehab outings under his belt, there was a question as to how effective Cobb would be. Fortunately for the Rays, he put those questions to rest early.
Aside from a second inning home run to Raul Ibanez, Cobb settled in, spotting his fastball and curve while looking as though he never missed a start. Meanwhile, the Rays tied the game in the third, as Wil Myers had an RBI single with one out. With runners on second and third and just the one out, the Rays appeared poised for to take the lead. However, Seattle starter Joe Saunders worked out of the jam, getting a groundout and a popup to end the inning.
Cobb appeared to run out of steam with two outs in the fourth. After giving up a double to Dustin Ackley, he walked the next two batters to load the bases. Cobb then went to a 3-2 count on Nick Franklin, missing twice with his changeup. He went back to the change one more time, and it worked – striking out Franklin to end the threat. That would prove to be all for Cobb, who threw 88 pitches in his five innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out six batters.
The Rays made sure to provide Cobb with enough offense to give him the victory in his first game back. Tampa opened the inning by putting runners on first and second, bringing up Myers once again. This time, he drilled a double to left, giving the Rays their first lead of the game. Evan Longoria followed with a blast to left on the very next pitch, belting a two run home run to give the Rays a 5-1 lead.
Tampa never looked back from that point, tacking on insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings to take the 7-1 lead. Myers had an impressive night at the plate, going 3-4 with two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored. It may be safe to say that Myers has broken out of his slump.
Longoria was 2-5 with the two run home run in the win.