Rays beat Orioles again, 5-1
A short night of sleep didn't bother the Rays on Saturday, as they beat the Orioles for the second time in around 14 hours, with a 5-1 victory.
RHP Alex Cobb gave the Rays exactly what they needed after they used a major-league record tying 11 pitchers in Friday's 18-rinning marathon, taking a three-hit shutout into the ninth.
And OF Desmond Jennings, who scored the winning run at 2:05 a.m., provided the bulk of the support for Cobb, hitting a three-run homer in the fifth inning and tripling in Yunel Escobar (who had tripled) in the seventh, for a career-high matching four RBIs.
The win, before a lively Tropicana Field crowd of 23,835, was the Rays seventh in their last 10 games, and kept them atop the American League wild-card standings with eight games remaining in the season.
The Rays (85-69) began the day one-half game ahead of the Indians and one of the Rangers, who both play tonight, who host the Astros tonight. The Rays are three ahead of the Royals, who host the Rangers, and 3 1/2 of the Yankees and four of the Orioles.
Understandably, neither team got much going early in the game, which started at 1:09 p.m. The Rays had one hit through four innings and the Orioles didn't get their first until the fifth.
The Rays broke through in their fifth. After Miguel Gonzalez walked Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar, Jennings delivered the big blow with one out, a three-run homer to left. The Rays added on in the seventh with Escobar tripled, then one out later Jennings tripled and Ben Zobrist followed with an RBI single.
Cobb was dominant after a shaky first, striking out 12 and walking only two. He had a chance to finish the game, but LF David DeJesus, the Friday night hero, lost Chris Davis' fly ball in the Trop roof, for a triple, and Adam Jones followed with a single.
The Rays and Orioles play again Sunday.