The story of the day was Alex Cobb who continued the dominance shown by the Rays starting staff this weekend with arguably the best outing of his young career and a very positive sign as he gets further and further away from last years surgery and closer to the pitcher many in the Rays organization think he can be. He worked 7 innings allowing only 2 hits while striking out a career high 10 while walking only 1 in leading the Rays to a 3-0 victory to secure a series victory over the Miami Marlins.
His performance follows Matt Moore's 7 scoreless innings on Friday and Saturday's performance by James Shields who worked 7.2 innings without allowing an earned run. Overall, Rays pitching was masterful in the 3 game series allowing only 1 earned run in 33 innings of work.
With the victory, Cobb evened his record at 3-3, and Joel Peralta followed him with a perfect 8th and 2K's. Fernando Rodney worked a scoreless 9th inning to pick up his 19th save on the season. Josh Johnson took the loss to drop his record to 4-5. With the victory, the Rays improve to 37-29 and remain in 3rd place in the AL East and the Marlins drop to .500 on the year with a record of 33-33.
The game highlights are provided after the jump. Happy Fathers Day to everyone and enjoy a great afternoon with family and friends. Go Rays.
The Rays offense had quite a big challenge waiting for them on Sunday afternoon as they were up against Josh Johnson. After missing most of the 2011 season and starting off slow in 2012 he has found the winning formula again over his last 7 starts. The Marlins had won 6 out of 7 of those starts and Johnson posted a record of 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA. The 7 games covered 46.2 innings and he held the opposition to a .241 average while striking out 40 and walking only 11.
The Rays jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when B.J. Upton took a 3-1 fastball and lined it into the seats in left. It was the first homer for Upton since May 21st and it was the first homer given up by Johnson since May 25th.
The offense continued to add pressure on the Marlins and had opportunities to score but were unable to cash in. In the third inning they had runners at the corners and Hideki Matsui lined to first for an easy double play. In the 4th inning they had runners at 1st and 2nd but Drew Sutton and Sean Rodriguez struck out to end the threat. In the 5th inning they had runners at 1st and 2nd but Hideki Matsui grounded into a double play to end the inning.
They extended their lead on a 2-out RBI single by Drew Sutton that scored Elliot Johnson who had walked with 2-out and been called safe on a stolen base when replay showed he was out.
The Marlins defense assisted the Rays in the seventh as they extended their lead to 3-0. Upton led off with a ground ball to 3rd. Hanley Ramirez threw wildly to first and Gabby Sanchez was unable to corral the throw as Upton advanced to second and came in to score on a Ben Zobrist RBI single.
Alex Cobb was removed after 7 strong innings and turned the game over to Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney who worked the 8th and 9th respectively to close the Marlins out.