After taking three of four from the lowly Texas Rangers, the Tampa Bay Rays started a six-game homestand in historic fashion. They became the fourth team in MLB history to reach .500 on the season after being 18 games under the mark previously in a 5-0 victory over the dreaded New York Yankees.
Alex Cobb threw absolute lights-out ball, going 7.1 innings giving up eight hits, walking just one batter whilr punching out eight. Cobb’s shutout performance tied a team record tonight as well, as he has now gone seven consecutive starts in which he has allowed two runs or fewer. He also did not allow a runner past second base despite allowing five leadoff singles.
On the other bump was Brandon McCarthy, who the Yankees acquired mid-season in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. McCarthy started out on the wrong foot, allowing two hits, a stolen base, a walk, and a pair of RBI groundouts to trail after one inning by two runs. But he settled down from ther4 and kept the Rays off the scoreboard again until the seventh, when Tampa Bay tacked on two more runs in McCarthy’s final inning of work. When it was all said and done, he went 6.1 innings allowing seven hits and four runs (only two earned), but did strike out seven. Both pitchers tonight amassed well over 100 pitches (for those of you who like keeping track of those kind of things).
Desmond Jennings and James Loney both had 2-for-4 nights and each scored a run of their own. Loney also drove in a pair of Rays, including himself on a home run in the top of the 8th off of Esmil Rogers. Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria and Curt Casali also drove in a run each.
The Rays have now won half the battle of getting to the post season – getting to the .500 mark. They will look to put their modest three-game winning streak on the line in a matinee game tomorrow, with Drew Smyly taking the bump to face off against Shane Greene.