The Rays wrapped up a disappointing nine-game road trip Sunday afternoon, topping the Rockies in the Coors Field rubber match by a score of 8-3 behind strong offense and Alex Cobb's quality start.
Tampa Bay jumped out to a quick lead, scoring three runs off of starter Jhoulys Chacin in the first. A pair of RBI singles from James Loney and Kelly Johnson along with a wild pitch gave the Rays the early 3-0 advantage. Both Loney (3-4, RBI) and Kelly Johnson (2-4, 2 RBI) had big series and have produced very well so far this season.
Chacin would settle in nicely after a shaky first inning. Cobb surrendered his first run of the day in the second, giving up a solo homer to Michael Cuddyer.
The Rockies continued to chip away in the fourth, narrowing the lead to just one run with a solo shot—this time off the bat of Troy Tulowitzki.
In need of insurance, the Rays broke out with another three-run frame in the sixth. Kelly Johnson's single knocked in a pair, and then Ryan Roberts' double down the left field line drove in one more run.
Down 6-2 in the seventh, Colorado responded with their third solo home run of the game. Nolan Arenado went yard, knocking Cobb out of the ballgame after 6 2/3 strong innings pitched (107 pitches, 71 strikes).
He finished the day with a line of 3 earned runs on 8 hits, 6 K's and just one walk. Cobb looked good in terms of command, doing a good job of keeping pitches down in the zone and working well with his curveball. It was a great sign to see him bounce back after his collapse in Kansas City last week.
The Rays would tack on two more runs in the eighth thanks to a two-out two-run single by Jose Lobaton. Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Jamey Wright all came in from the 'pen to finish of the Rox.
The Rays improve to 14-16 on the season (remain in fourth place), and are set to begin a 10-game homestand tonight against a struggling Blue Jays ballclub. Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.71 ERA) will square off against Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.43 ERA); first pitch at 7:10 ET.
News and Notes:
- The Rays will be without Ben Zobrist (death of grandmother) and Yunel Escobar tonight (bruised left hand) against Toronto. Zobrist will return for Tuesday night's game and Escobar targets a Wednesday return.
- Jake Odorizzi and three other Durham Bulls pitchers combined for a no-hitter in their 2-1 win over Pawtucket yesterday.
- The Process Report analyzed the concern of David Price's reduced velocity so far this season.
- Around the AL East: Adrian Beltre's walkoff single dropped the Red Sox 4-3 Sunday in Arlington, the Yankees lost the series finale to Oakland 5-4, the Blue Jays beat up on the M's 10-2, and the O's beat the Angels 8-4.