The Rays ended their 3-game losing streak by defeating the Kansas City Royals by a final score of 5-3. The victory improves the Rays record to 36-32 and the Royals see their record fall to 32-34. Alex Torres (2-0, 0.00 ERA) earned the victory and Fernando Rodney picked up his 14th save by working a scoreless 9th. Jeremy Guthrie (7-4, 3.72 ERA) took the loss. In defeat the Royals pitching staff’s string of consecutive games holding an opponent to 3 earned runs or less came to an end.
There were many positive moments from the game including the relief work of Alex Torres, the Rays not striking out en route to the victory, and a trio of home runs by Matt Joyce (14th), Evan Longoria (14th), and Luke Scott (4th), but everything was secondary to the health of Alex Cobb who had to leave after taking a line drive off the side off the head off the bat of Eric Hosmer.
Even during the play the Rays medical staff was racing to the mound to check on Cobb who had crumbled to the ground face ground with his arms covering his head.
After a few minutes Cobb was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field and transported to Bayfront Medical Center for further evaluation. The good news is that after the game the Rays reported that he had suffered a minor concussion, never lost consciousness, and are cautiously optimistic that he will be all right.
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David Price visited Cobb at the hospital and upon his return said that Cobb was upbeat and joking around. “He [Cobb]was laughing. He seemed pretty normal, so that was good.” Price said that Cobb was talking when he was lying on the ground on the mound because trainer Ron Porterfield wouldn’t allow him to stand up.
From his perspective behind home plate Jose Lobaton said “I saw a good pitch, good hit, and then I just saw the ball at the head. After that, well my reaction, was looking for the ball, throw the guy out at first. I saw him bleeding. I don’t know what to say. I just saw him there and it was a really tough moment for everybody.”
Eric Hosmer who hit the ball that struck Cobb said “It’s scary man. You don’t know if he’s alright. I honestly didn’t even want to run to first. I just wanted to see how he was doing. You hate to see that, man, especially Alex, having a great year. It’s just freaking scary stuff, man, amd I’m glad he’s all right.
Joe Maddon said “Obviously that was an awful moment. The ball just hit him. We had no idea where the ball had hit him we just knew that it was in the head. [Porterfield] was out there, actually, before the out was made at first base.” He continued “It’s just one of those really, really bad moments. Everybody feels terrible about it, but that’s part of our game and it stinks sometimes. It’s a horrible moment to witness.”
Royals manager Ned Yost was relieved to hear that Cobb was doing well saying, “You can’t hit a ball harder than [Hosmer] hit that ball. He hit it so hard he couldn’t even react. It just makes everybody in the stadium sick to their stomach when something like that happens.”
Former teammate James Shields said “You never want to see anybody go through that. You just never know what’s going to happen to come out of it You look at Brandon McCarthy, he walked off the field, the next thing you know they’re doing surgery on him.”
It wasn’t just the Rays who were rattled. Shields said “it’s very emotional when you see an ex-teammate, let alone a baseball player, get hurt like that [Hosmer’s] shaken up, the whole team ws. I don’t care if we’re trying to beat them on the field, you never want to see that happen.
Alex Torres was once again dominant stretching his 2013 scoreless innings streak to 16 games by working 1.2 scoreless and hitless innings while striking out 4 batters. His 16 scoreless innings to begin a season (no starts in between) is approaching the 21 scoreless inning streak set by Joe Borowski in 2005.
Joe Maddon put Torres outing tonight in perspective saying “Alex Torres was ridiculously good again. 20 pitches, 5 outs I think it was.”
The Rays offense broke out of a mini slumber cashing in on 8 hits including home runs by Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria, and Luke Scott. Scott was making his first start of the season in left field and was placed in the 3rd spot in the batting order. He responded by going 2 for 3 with a walk, 2 RBI and a run scored. Over his last 3 games he has gone 4 for 6 with a home and a double.
Matt Joyce is continuing to hit the long ball hitting his 4th homer in his last 6 games and shares the team lead in home runs with Evan Longoria who hit his 14th homer of the season tonight.
The Rays did not strikeout in a game for only the 7th time in franchise history. The last time they finished a game without striking out was July 15, 2007 versus the New York Yankees.