The Rays entered Monday night with a 6-game winning streak which has began ever since the return of Evan Longoria. Longoria took the night off Monday, so the Rays had no presence of him in the lineup, but wouldn't even need his bat as Alex Cobb turned in another outstanding start.
The Rays broke open the game in the third inning, when they scored all four of their runs. Desmond Jennings started the rally by hitting an RBI single to drive in Sam Fuld. B.J. Upton hit a home run next to drive in Jennings, his 13th of the year.
Later in the inning, Ben Zobrist would drive in Matt Joyce with an RBI double to left-center field to make it a 4-0 ballgame.
Eric Thames would get the only run of the game for the Marniners with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to three runs.
It would be the only run Cobb allowed in his strong seven innings of work. He did a great job of pounding the strike zone throughout his start, pitching first pitch strikes to the first 20 batters he faced.
Fernando Rodney closed out the game with his 37th save (MLB-best) of the year.
The Rays are now 63-52 (9-2 in August). They are in second place, five games back of the Yankees. They lead the first wild Card spot.
Notable Stat Lines
- A. Cobb (W,7-8) 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, E1
- Blake Beavan (L,7-7) 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 4 K
- D. Jennings: 2-4, R, BB, RBI
- B.J. Upton: 1-5 HR, R, 2 RBI
- B. Zobrist: 3-4, RBI
- C. Pena: 1-3, BB
- S. Fuld: 1-4, R, 2 SB
- click here for a full box score
Rays News and Notes
- Longoria was out of the lineup due to a scheduled day off (for rest) and he's feeling fine.
- Jose Molina stole his second base of the season last night. If that's not amazing enough, consider that Desmond Jennings was caught stealing off the same catcher.
- Ben Zobrist made his fourth start at shortstop today, but this time with the Rays' most groundball-heavy starter pitching.
- Luke Scott—2 for 10 so far in his minor league rehab assignment with Class A+ Charlotte—is not ready to rejoin the Rays today and will play at least one more game with Stone Crabs before he's activated off the DL. He's perfectly healthy apparently, but his timing has been off.
- ESPN's Buster Olney had some interesting things to say about the Rays.
- FanGraphs.com also has an interesting article on how the Rays' offense has improved since Longoria has returned to the lineup.
- The Rays play the Mariners again tonight at 10:10 ET. The pitching matchup will be Matt Moore (9-7 , 3.73 ERA) vs. Kevin Millwood (4-10, 4.38 ERA).