Rays morning after: Alex Cobb battled from behind so Rays could come out ahead
RHP Alex Cobb was pitching from behind much of Saturday night. But he still did well enough for the Rays to come out ahead, 6-3 over the Angels.
Though Cobb was not sharp, he was efficient and effective, getting out of what trouble he got into while working into the eighth.
"There were a lot of bad pitchers' counts out there, a lot of good hitters' counts, a lot of 2-0, 3-1 that's got to get cleaned up,'' Cobb said. "Fortunately when it did get to those counts I was able to make some pitches and induce some weak contact or have them hit a line drive at somebody. It's something that's not a formula for success going down the road, but I was able to get by with it tonight.''
His biggest challenge came in the sixth, the Rays leading 4-0 with two on, two out and Albert Pujols at the plate.
"It was a big moment,'' Cobb said. "I was fortunate to get a couple strikes on a curveball and then tried to disguise a fastball on the outer half. It leaked over the middle a little bit but fortunately he grounded to (3B Evan Longoria) and all he had to do was step on the bag.''
Manager Kevin Cash noted that while Cobb (8-6, 3.59) kept his pitch count low - he was in the seventh while still in the 70s - falling behind too much eventually caught up with him. He threw 105 (59 strikes) for the night, working 7 2/3.
"I think he'll be the first to tell you it was a little but more of a battle than the standard he sets for himself,'' Cash said. "He fell behind some guys, some hard hit balls. I think it was a really good night for the defense being in the right spot and making some nice plays behind him.
"But at the end of the day, Alex made some big pitches when he had to.''
* 1B Logan Morrison ended an 0-for-15 with a two-run homer in the third, his 25th overall but first since July 1. "Sometimes you feel like it's never going to come,'' he said. "But it's baseball, and it's not easy.''
* Cash said they felt both Morrison and Corey Dickerson were "a little gassed" going into the All-Star break so he was glad to see both have big games. Dickerson had a career-high matching four hits.
* Cobb logged his fifth pickoff, most among right-handers in the majors.
* The Rays extended their winning streak at Angel Stadium to seven games.
* All 18 of Souza's homers have come around right-handed pitchers.
* RHP Brad Boxberger made his first back to back appearance since coming off the DL to get the final out of the eighth.