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Rays vs Twins Preview: Alex Cobb battles Twins for series win

Alex Cobb takes the mound as the Rays go for the series win in Minneapolis

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Today, Alex Cobb and the Rays look to conclude a three-game set with a win against the Twins before heading south to face the red-hot Texas Rangers.

The Rays won the first game of the series with the Twins taking game #2 yesterday. In the opener, Chris Archer and Steven Souza Jr. lead the way in a 5-2 win. In game #2, Brian Dozier clubbed a go-ahead blast in the eighth to edge the Rays by a score of 5-3.

The Rays will look to bounce back this afternoon when the two square off on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is set for 2:10 PM ET.

Starting Pitchers

Alex Cobb

The right-hander yielded back-to-back homers to his first two batters faced against Los Angeles on Tuesday, then breezed through six more frames before allowing another two more runs with one out in the eighth. He probably should have been pulled after the seventh knowing he’d face the top of the Angels' lineup for a fourth time, but Cash left him out there and it proved costly.

Even with the four earned runs allowed, it was a stellar start for Cobb in what his first start allowing more than three runs in over a month and ended a streak of three consecutive quality starts.

He owns a respectable 3.82 ERA heading into today’s contest, mixing and matching effectively with his fastball-curveball platter. In his last six starts, he is 3-2 with a 3.18 ERA, compared to 1-2 with a 4.88 ERA through his first four starts of the season.

Cobb has faired competently vs. both LHB’s and RHB’s, holding hitters to the tune of .259/.293/.413 from the right side of the plate and 255/.339/.441 from the left side of the plate.

Cobb has one career start against the Twins, earning a win on 2 ER through 5 23 innings pitched in July of 2014.

Kyle Gibson

To put it nicely, things haven’t gone very well for right-hander Kyle Gibson in 2017.

Through seven starts, Gibson (1-4) owns a dreadful 8.62 ERA over 31.1 innings and seems likely to be headed back to the minors.

The right-hander has faired poorly vs. both RHB’s and LHB’s in 2017, posting a .343/.425/.586 slash-line to hitters from the left side of the plate and .333/.413/.591 slash-line from the right side of the plate.

Gibson is 1-4 with a 7.82 ERA (25.1 IP, 22 ER) in five starts against the Rays.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

Corey Dickerson - DH Brian Dozier - 2B
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Jorge Polanco - SS
Evan Longoria - 3B Joe Mauer - 1B
Logan Morrison - 1B Kennys Vargas - DH
Steven Souza - RF Max Kepler - RF
Colby Rasmus - LF Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Tim Beckham - SS Eddie Rosario - LF
Michael Martinez - 2B Byron Buxton - CF
Jesus Sucre - C Jason Castro - C
Alex Cobb - RHP Kyle Gibson - RHP