The Tampa Bay Rays opened a weekend series with the all of a sudden surging Houston Astros in a 6-1 win behind a wonderful bounce-back performance from Alex Cobb. He would go 6.1 innings and allow just three hits and a single run while striking out 11 after going 4.1 innings and allowing 7 runs in his last start. The victory also snapped a 10-game road losing streak for Joe Maddon‘s club.
The Rays struck first in the second inning, as Matt Joyce pulled a double just inside the first base, which brought home both James Loney and Ben Zobrist. They would get 2 more runs in the fifth when Zobrist tripled to bring home Desmond Jennings and Loney. Tampa then got some much welcomed insurance in the top of the ninth on an Evan Longoria single, bringing home Ryan Hanigan and Jennings.
The lone mark the Rays had against them was a lead-off homer off the bat of Astros rookie sensation Jon Singleton in the bottom of the second, which cut the lead at the time to 2-1. Cobb did a good job of keeping the Astros young-guns in check, as Singleton and George Springer combined to go just 1-for-8, with Singleton’s smash the only blemish.
Even in allowing four runs, Astros’ starter Collin McHugh didn’t pitch poorly – in fact, his curveball was exceptional tonight, as it gave Rays hitters all sorts of fits, especially on the inside just off the plate. McHugh finished his night going five complete innings, allowing five hits and four runs, striking out six and throwing an even 100 pitches. The loss was McHugh’s fourth of the year, while Cobb won only his second game of 2014.