Cobb In Beast Mode, Rays Down Orioles 5-1
The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles in a timely 2 hours and 51 minutes. Alex Cobb picked up the victory to improve to 10-3 with a 2.70 ERA. Miguel Gonzalez took the loss for the Orioles to fall to 10-8 with a 3.94 ERA. With the victory the Rays will maintain at least a 0.5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians for the top wild card spot and a 1 game lead over the Texas Rangers. The Indians take on the Houston Astros in Cleveland while the Rangers are in Kansas City to take on the Royals.
His most recent start against the Orioles came on August 20th in Baltimore. He earned the win in the 7-4 Rays victory by going 6 innings allowing 2R/1ER on 3 hits striking out 5 and walking 4.
Cobb was in beast mode providing the Rays pitching staff exactly what it needed after using 11 pitchers threw 301 pitches in last night 18 inning affair.
He pitched into the 9th inning going 8.1 innings allowing 1R/ER on 5 hits striking out 12 and walking 2. He lost his opportunity for a complete game shut out when David DeJesus lost a Chris Davis fly ball which landed for a triple and Adam Jones followed with a single. With his pitch count at 117 and the heart of the Orioles order due up Joe Maddon went to his bullpen and summoned Fernando Rodney who retired the final two hitters to end the game.
Miguel Gonzalez started for the Orioles. In seven career starts versus the Rays he is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA (39.2IP/17ER) and 4 quality starts. In his three starts at Tropicana Field he is 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA (19.2IP/2ER) and has held the Rays to a .141 averagte against.Last season he held the Rays scoreless in two starts in Tampa and on April 4th he allowed only 2 earned runs in 6.1 innings.
Today his lack of control got him in to trouble as he allowed only 2 hits but 5 walks in his 6 innings of work while striking out 2.
The Rays got 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning. Jose Molina walked to begin the inning and moved to second after Yunel Escobar drew a walk. With 1-out in the inning Desmond Jennings belted a 3-run homer to left. For Jennings it was his career high 14th home run of the season. It also was the Rays first home run with more than 1 man on base since Jose Lobaton‘s 3-run homer off the foul pole on August 23rd. It was also Jennings first career homer with 2 or more runners on base (h/t to Craig Vanderkam)
Rays manager Joe Maddon likes to use the phrase….”when you’re walking you’re hitting” to reference that the key to hitting well is to have your strike zone organized.
This hasn’t been the case for Desmond Jennings who entering today’s game was only hitting .198 (20 for 101) since coming off the disabled list on August 19th.
What was odd about Jennings low average was that he had his strike zone organized.In his 123 PA he has only struck out 22 times (17.8%) of the time while walking 20 times (16.2% of the time).
Jennings wasn’t finished after his 3-run homer as he came to the plate in the bottom of the 7th with David DeJesus who had tripled at 3rd with 2-outs and delivered an RBI triple. He came in to score on a Ben Zobrist single and the Rays lead was extended to 5-0.
It was the first time the Rays had two triples in the same inning since June 6th, 2012 when B.J. Upton and Desmond Jennings pulled it off. The last game the Rays had multiple triples in came on August 27, 2012 in Arlington against the Rangers. It was Jennings and Upton hitting the triples in that game as well.
The Orioles plated their lone run in the 9th inning on a misplayed triple off the bat of Chris Davis and a single by Adam Jones.
After the Jones single Alex Cobb was lifted from the game for Fernando Rodney who retired the last two Orioles to preserve the victory for the Rays.