After losing six in a row, the Rays have stormed back to win six of their past seven, currently sitting a half game behind the Red Sox at the time of this printing. Two of those victories were lead by Alex Cobb, which is something I wasn't sure I could say again two months ago.
Cobb was excellent in his second start since coming off the disabled list. Things got a little hairy when he loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning, but prior to that he had allowed no earned runs while striking out five and walking two. Four of the five strikeouts came via the curveball which Joe Maddon called "elite". With Roberto Hernandez and Jeremy Hellickson struggling of late it's so important that Cobb pitch well upon his return. He's not had the stamina he showed early in the season, but has been able to have the same success as he did pre-injury.
Saying things got a little hairy in the seventh inning was a slight understatement. The Rays were up just two runs at the time and Baltimore had their 9-1-2 hitters due up. Alex Torres took over for Cobb and proceeded to get Brian Roberts to ground into a double play in just two pitches. A run scored, leaving a runner on first with two outs. Nate McClouth was called out on strikes to end the inning. Torres earned the highest Win Probably Added of any Rays player on the night, and deservedly so.
Jamey Wright got some rare high leverage work, throwing a scoreless eighth inning. His brother from another mother, Wesley, came onto pitch the ninth after the offense had scored four in the top of the frame. He failed to record an out, walking two and giving up a two run homer to Matt Wieters. Fernando Rodney came in and closed the door on the victory.
This was a good night to be a Rays hitter. Everyone picked up a hit and five recorded multiple hit games. Matt Joyce lead the way, walking twice, driving in a run on a sac fly, scoring two runs and smacking a two run double to right field to give the Rays some much needed insurance runs. Coming into tonight he had a .983 OPS in August. MOA (month of august) just doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as MOM (month of may) for a nickname. Yunel Escobar, Ben Zobrist, and Wil Myers added the other RBI hits.