Cobb getting better and better after win over O’s

by Gary Shelton on July 27, 2017 · 0 comments

in Baseball, general, Tampa Bay Rays

Longoria had three hits, including the go-ahead home run./JEFFREY S. KING

Longoria had three hits, including the go-ahead home run./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 2 a.m.

For the first five innings, you could understand much of the recent slump by the Tampa Bay Rays.

For the last three and a half, you could comprehend why the Rays may still have a chance.

The Rays, one-hit until the sixth inning, broke loose to win their series against the Baltimore Orioles, winning 5-1. It was the team's first win by at least four runs since a July 1 win over the Orioles.

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Cobb pitched well again in victory over Orioles./JEFFREY S. KING

Cobb pitched well again in victory over Orioles./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays are 13-4-4 in their last 21 series.

For the Rays, Alex Cobb continued his solid season with seven innings of work. He allowed four hits and one earned run. Cobb's improvement over the first half of the season is obvious. Cobb is 5-1 with a 2.24 ERA in his last nine starts. In his first 12 starts, Cobb was 4-5 with a 4.52 ERA.

“He made one bad pitch today and the guy (Jonathan Schoop) hit it out of the ballpark,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “Other than that, I thought he was

Boxberger finished the game with a scoreless inning./JEFFREY S. KING

Boxberger finished the game with a scoreless inning./JEFFREY S. KING

outstanding with the ability to throw the groundball up there, especially when guys were on base to quiet down innings and get out of innings with the double play.

“I have no idea what we’d do without him. The way he goes out and performs. We are in every single ballgame he pitches, it feels like. The last game that I can think of, it’s been a long time. He goes out there and he’s able to adjust on the fly. He gets a real good sense of what’s working with the first two innings and he’s able to springboard that the rest of the ballgame.”

Cobb is now 9-6 on the season.

Consistency? Cobb likes the word.

“That’s in my job description,” Cobb said. “Without starting pitching going deep into games and doing that consistently, we won’t have much of a team here. I think

Hunter threw a scoreless eighth for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Hunter threw a scoreless eighth for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

every guy on the staff has realized that and embraced that. You can see that throughout the course of the season everybody is growing into that role a little bit more and using that as their responsibility to go deeper in the game. You take a lot of pressure off the bullpen.

“We went through a real rough stretch in that weekend series. We didn’t play poorly, but we lost some games that were tough to swallow. That can go one of two directions. You can really cave and feel like the cards are stacked against you or you could grind it out. We know the offense has been scuffling a little bit, but they are putting together some good at-bats.”

Still, for a long time, it was questionable whether the Rays would score at all. That

Smith makes a catch in center field./JEFFREY S. KING

Smith makes a catch in center field./JEFFREY S. KING

was before Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer in the sixth to the give Tampa Bay the lead. Longoria has now hit in 16 of 18 games.

The Rays scored all five of their runs in their last three at-bats. Included in the barrage was an estimated 470-foot home run off the D-ring of the catwalk by Steven Souza Jr., his 21st of the season. It was the seventh fair ball to hit a catwalk this season.

Souza has seven home runs over his last 20 games. His 63 RBI have passed Logan Morrison (62) and Longoria (61).

Corey Dickerson went 0-for-3, and his average (once at .335), fell to .308.

The Rays now travel to New York to play the Yankees. Chris Archer pitches tonight's game when he faces C.C. Sabathia at 7:05 at Yankee Stadium.

Souza hit his seventh home run in 20 games./JEFFREY S. KING

Souza hit his seventh home run in 20 games./JEFFREY S. KING

 

 

 

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