May 19, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The Cobb salad may have been invented in Los Angeles, but the Rays served one up this afternoon in the Trop. Alex Cobb salad tossed seven innings of two-run baseball on six hits and two walks in 113 pitches. He struck out six. Like Matt Moore two nights ago, he started off shaky, but hunkered down and put together a good outing. The trouble seemed to be an inability to locate the ball down in the zone. Cobb just couldn't finish pitches and left them up on his arm side.
The second inning was the most Maddoning. Cobb got a bit BABIP'd by three straight groundball singles that gave the Braves their first run. Brian McCann hit yet another grounder through the shift. I don't know where he finds the holes. An Eric Hinske sac fly to left plated their second and final run, because also like Moore, Cobb finished off his night by retiring the last ten Braves he faced. By the end of his night, you could say he was on so much of a roll he was jelly. Or syrup. I prefer syrup.
Offensively, the Rays were able to take advantage of Braves starter Randall Delgado's wildness (kinda). Delgado only lasted four innings and walked five against a patient Rays lineup. I say the Rays 'kinda' took advantage of the walks because all the runs scored tonight came on the long ball. In the third inning, Elliot Johnson led off with a walk then moved to second on a Chris Gimenez single. Ben Zobrist (who did not have a good day at the plate) advanced the runners on a swinging bunt to the pitcher. B.J. Upton followed up with another walk to load the bases before Matthew "Barry" Joyce crushed a 2-0 DH-fastball over the wall in center for grand-slam. The swing just screamed, "Obvious fastball is obvious." If memory serves, that's the third Rays granny this year, and all of them have been from lefties (Joyce, Scott, Pena).
Bullets after the jump...
- Sean Rodriguez was responsible for the Rays fifth run on a solo-shot to left to lead off the sixth inning. It was off a righty, which, of course, is nice to see.
- B.J. Upton stole two bags this afternoon, but was also caught for the first time this season trying to nab third in the seventh inning. He got a great jump and appeared to beat the play, but his foot seemed to get caught about six inches in front of the bag and he just came up short. Kinda like Kelly Shoppach's steal. (Not at all like Kelly Shoppach's steal.)
- Will "Busta" Rhymes made a brutal error on a Martin Prado grounder in the third, but made up for it with a run-saving diving play in short-right on a Brian McCann grounder. This one looked like it was going to go through. McCann hits 'em like those things from Tremors.
- The Rays almost scored in the second when Carlos Pena tagged from third on a Rhymes fly to right, but Jason Heyward fired a laser-guided missile to home to get Pena. It was the right move on Pena's part, Heyward just executed the play perfectly.
- Inspired by Alex Cobb retiring the last ten guys he faced, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney both turned in perfect innings to run the streak to 16 to finish off the game.
- Tomorrow, David Price take on Tim Hudson on Kyle Farnsworth Bobblehead day. Since it's on a Sunday, do I get work off on Monday? I hope not, because that would mean it's a national holiday and the Rays have to wear those damned American Flag hats. I friggin' hate those things. Game starts @ 1:40PM.