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Rays Defeat Orioles 7-4

The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 to win their 6th game in their past 7 and guarantee that they will remain at most 1 game behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East race. The victory improves the Rays to 72-52 on the year. Alex Cobb [1]  allowed just 2R/1ER on 3 hits striking out 5 and walking 4 in 6+ innings of work and picked up the win to improve his record to 8-2 and Fernando Rodney [2] came in relief in the 9th inning to earn his 29th save on the season.

Cobb_BALT_AUG [3]The Rays gave Alex Cobb [1] the early 1-0 lead on a Yunel Escobar [4] single in the 2nd inning. The Orioles got an RBI single from Ryan Flaherty [5] in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1. The Rays added 2 runs in the top of the 3rd on a RBI double by Ben Zobrist [6] and a sacrifice fly by Matt Joyce.

Cobb seemed to run out of gas as he labored in the 7th inning issuing a leadoff walk to Matt Wieters [7], a single to J.J. Hardy [8], and a walk to Ryan Flaherty [5] to load the bases.

Joe Maddon [9] called on Alex Torres [10] to come into the game and he got a groundball to Evan Longoria [11] who stepped on 3rd and fired the  ball to Ben Zobrist [6] at 2nd. Even though the run scored but the rally was short circuited. Torres ended the inning by striking out Nate McLouth [12] to end the inning.

After Torres escaped the jam Jamey Wright [13] was brought in to work the 8th inning and after issuing a 1-out walk to Chris Davis [14] he got the groundball double play off the bat of Adam Jones [15] to protect the 3-2 lead.

The Rays padded their lead with a 4 spot in the top of the ninth. Kelly Johnson [16] and Desmond Jennings [17] delivered back to back singles to begin the inning and both runners advanced a base on a high chopper off the bat of Ben Zobrist. Evan Longoria [11] was intentionally walked and Joe Maddon [9] elected to have Matt Joyce remain in the game to face the left handed McFarland.

The decision paid off as Joyce pounded a double inside the bag at first base and drove in both Johnson and Jennings.  Wil Myers [18] followed with a 2-RBI single to plate both Longoria and Joyce.

With a 7-2 lead Wesley Wright [19] was brought in to work the 9th inning. He issued a leadoff walk to Nick Markakis [20] and Matt Wieters [7] followed with a 2-run homer to cut the lead to 7-4. Wright’s night ended after he walked J.J. Hardy [8].

Fernando Rodney [2] came in to the game and retired Ryan Flaherty on a fly out to left, Brian Roberts [21] popped up to first base, and struck out Nate McLouth [12] to earn his 29th save.

Rays Defeat Orioles 7-4 by