Following last night’s eighteen inning marathon in which the Rays used eleven pitchers, including Sunday’s expected starter Jeremy Hellickson, they needed Alex Cobb to pitch deep into the game. Not only did he come through to help rest a weary bullpen, but he did so in spectacular fashion in the 5-1 victory.
Cobb worked out of an early jam in the first, putting runners on first and second with a pair of walks before striking out Nick Markakis to end the threat. Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez worked out of a first inning jam himself, and matched Cobb zero for zero through the first four innings.
After the first, Cobb began cruising through the Orioles lineup, and did not allow a hit until Steve Clevenger singled just past a diving Ben Zobrist with two outs in the fifth. However, that hit did not stop Cobb, as he continued to breeze through Baltimore’s offense.
The Rays broke through against Gonzalez in the bottom of the inning. Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar walked to start the inning, and Desmond Jennings hammered a three run home run to left to end the scoreless draw. Jennings struck again in the seventh, driving Escobar in with an RBI triple before scoring on a base hit by Zobrist. A single by Evan Longoria and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with two outs, but Wil Myers lined out to left to end the threat.
Those runs were more than enough for Cobb, who entered the ninth looking for his second career shutout. Unfortunately, with one out, Chris Davis lofted a fly ball to left that David DeJesus lost in the roof, falling in for a triple. Adam Jones followed with a base hit to right, and the Orioles finally got on the board. Fernando Rodney came in to record the final two outs, and preserved the 5-1 victory.
Cobb was dominant throughout the game, as he had excellent location with his fastball and great movement on his secondary pitches. In his 8.1 innings, Cobb allowed one run on five hits and two walks, striking out twelve batters.
Jennings was 2-3 with a home run, a triple, four RBIs, a walk and two runs scored. Escobar was 1-2 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored.