It was the top of the fifth inning and the Rays were leading by one. Eric Hosmer lead off the inning. And the rest of the game ceased to matter.
Hosmer's line drive, coming off the bat at 102 miles per hour, hit Alex Cobb in the head, dropping him to the ground, kicking his legs in obvious pain and frustration. This is the second such incident at Tropicana Field in a month and a half. Blue Jays' starter J.A. Happ was hit in the head on May 8th. Cobb was taken off the field on a stretcher and appears to actually be in good spirits at Bayfront Medical Center. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting he suffered a mild concussion, which is pretty lucky considering what happened.
David Price, who left the game immediately to meet Cobb at the hospital, said he was feeling fine and was mad the trainers wouldn't let him stand up on the field. Cobb was pitching a decent game at the time, having gotten himself into trouble in the second inning but throwing two scoreless before the incident.
There's no timetable on how long Cobb will be out and Price is still on the DL. The Rays have a few options to take Cobb's place in Odorizzi and Alex Colome. Alex Torres wouldn't seem to be on the correct schedule to make a start at this time. Speaking of Torres, he entered the game to replace Cobb and continued his excellent season, throwing 1.2 perfect innings while striking out four straight. In his 16 innings this season he's struck out 23, walked three, allowed zero runs and has a 0.75 FIP. Not bad. Jake McGee pitched the 7th and didn't allow a run for the 14th time in his last 15 appearances.
The Rays offense, dormant the past three games, showed life this afternoon. The top of the order did all of the damage, with the 1-4 hitters collecting six of the eight hits and all of the RBI. They took the lead in the third inning on a two run, two out homer by Luke Scott. Batting in the three hole, Scott's bat has awoken. He's recorded one out in his last six plate appearances with a home run, double, and two walks. Six plate appearances doesn't mean a whole lot, but it's nice to see something come out of his bat. Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria added solo home runs in fifth and sixth innings. Joyce now has 14 home runs in 229 plate appearances. He had 17 in 462 PA last season. Coming into the night he had the fourth highest Isolate Slugging out of all outfielders, behind Carlos Gonzalez, Domonic Brown, and Carlos Gomez.
The Rays can split the series with the Royals with a win tomorrow as Roberto Hernandez toes the rubber against former Ray Wade Davis.
-Per Mark Topkin, this was the first time since 2007 Rays hitters didn't strike out once.
-Every starter met Alex Cobb in the tunnel before he was wheeled out of the stadium. So did James Shields. Shows you what a stand up guy Shields is, not that it was ever in debate.