Rays close in on Red Sox as Cobb pitches well again

by Gary Shelton on July 16, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Cobb continues to pitch deep into games./CARMEN MANDATO

Cobb continues to pitch deep into games./CARMEN MANDATO

Sunday, 3 a.m.

The hot streak you've been waiting for seems to have arrived for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays won their fifth game in their last six outings Saturday night, beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6-3. It put the Rays six games above .500, and it moved the team to within 2 ½ games of the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox.

Tampa Bay was paced by pitcher Alex Cobb, who had his seventh straight start of more than six innings. Cobb went 7 2/3 innings and allowed only one

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Dickerson ended his slump with four hits./JEFFREY S. KING

Dickerson ended his slump with four hits./JEFFREY S. KING

earned run. He scattered six hits. In his last six starts, Cobb is 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA. In four of his last five starts, he's gone into the eighth inning.

“Whether you're on top of your game or not, if you're consistently getting into the

Morrison hit his 25th home run of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Morrison hit his 25th home run of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

eighth inning, it does a hanful of things for the team mometum-wise,” Cobb said.

Cobb said he was “pretty upset” he couldn't finish the eighth inning. He said he had “a lot of bad pitcher's counts. That's got to be cleaned up.”

“It's always a goal to try to get to that ninth and through the ninth,” Cobb said. “You're going to fail more than you're going to succeed, but as long as you give yourself a chance...”

Cobb now has eight wins on the season, one more than Chris Archer.

“I love his competitiveness, his fire,” Logan Morrison said to Fox-TV. “He gets mad at himself if he walks a guy. He's always striving to be better.”

Sucre drove in two runs and had two hits./CARMEN MANDATO

Sucre drove in two runs and had two hits./CARMEN MANDATO

The Rays had a good night offensively, led by Corey Dickerson's four hits. Dickerson had been only four-for-38 coming into the game, and his average had dipped to .308. His night lifted that average to .315.

Shane Peterson had three hits and Jesus Sucre two for the Rays. Logan Morrison hit his 25th homer, a two-run shot, and Steven Souza Jr. hit his 18th.

"He's incredible," Souza said of Cobb. "He's a  horse on our team and our staff. We assume he's going to go into the eighth inning every game now. Regardless of how he feels he goes and competes."

It guaranteed another series win for the Rays,who are 11-3 with four splits over their last 18 series.

The Rays and Angels conclude their series today when Archer pitches against Parker Bridwell.

Souza hit his 18th home run of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

Souza hit his 18th home run of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

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