Rays pitching had a hard time with Detroit's big bats in Game 1 of this three-game series, surrendering 10 runs as Matt Moore endured a very brief outing. It was a completely different story with Alex Cobb on the mound Wednesday night, however.
Cobb stifled the Tigers' lineup, which is arguably the best in all of baseball, allowing just five hits and three walks while striking out seven over 7.2 scoreless innings (108 pitches, 72 strikes).
He exited the game in the eighth with two men on and two out, handing the ball over to Joel Peralta. Peralta would get the key out, striking out the always-dangerous Prince Fielder with four straight splitters.
Before the ninth inning, Tampa's bats didn't fare much better against Doug Fister, who tossed 8.1 innings in his excellent outing.
With the game scoreless in the top of the ninth, the Rays finally got on the board. Sam Fuld, batting in the leadoff spot, started off the rally with a bunt single, reaching base by diving to avoid the tag by Prince Fielder. Ben Zobrist followed with a single, and then Matt Joyce knocked in the go-ahead run via sacrifice fly.
Evan Longoria drove in the second run with an RBI single, and then Desmond Jennings made it 3-0 with a two-out RBI triple.
Fernando Rodney came on in to close out the victory, notching his 12th save of the year. He would allow two men to reach base, but prevented any further damage.
The Rays improve to 32-26, and are now just three games out of first place with the Red Sox falling 3-2 to Texas. The Yankees beat the Indians again, so they remain 1.5 games over the Rays. The Orioles also won, and stay a half-game over Tampa Bay.
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