Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays score three in ninth, beat Tigers

DETROIT — Things were going so well for Rays right-hander Alex Cobb on Wednesday night that when he came off the field after the sixth inning, he thought it was the fifth.

"I saw it on the scoreboard, and I thought the scoreboard was wrong," Cobb said. "I asked (Matt Moore), and he said, 'Yeah, that was the sixth. You're cruising, keep going.' "

Cobb did just that, pitching 7⅔ shutout innings in a dazzling performance to lift the Rays to a 3-0 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park. He struck out seven and scattered five hits, baffling one of the majors' most potent offenses before Tampa Bay rallied for three runs in the ninth.

"It felt like Bugs Bunny was pitching," Tigers rightfielder Torii Hunter said. "When you swing, the ball just drops out of the zone. It's like it didn't want to get hit."

Said Tigers manager Jim Leyland: "He was terrific."

Manager Joe Maddon had been concerned about Cobb's nine-day layoff between starts, having been pushed back due to a cut on his right middle finger. But Cobb knew that if he could gather himself and stay in control, he'd have a good night as his arm was fresh, as the "layoff definitely helped."

"He was outstanding," Maddon said. "They're such good hitters, that to have bad swings against them like that tells you how good his stuff was."

Though the Rays (32-26) had a tough time against Tigers right-hander Doug Fister, Maddon said the game could have "really taken a different turn" had a third-inning rally not ended in an unusual 3-2 double play. With runners on first and third and one out, first baseman Prince Fielder made a nice play on Sam Fuld's hard grounder, throwing home to catch Jose Lobaton coming from third in a rundown. Tigers catcher Alex Avila tagged Lobaton and then Yunel Escobar, who had tried to advance to third from first.

"Neither one had a really good moment right there," Maddon said.

Cobb's only mistake might have come in the eighth, when he made a poor decision — and even worse, an off-balance throw — trying to field a swinging bunt toward third by Andy Dirks, allowing him to advance to second.

Cobb said he didn't know what he was thinking.

"That was not even being overzealous, that's overdelusional," Maddon quipped. "I think he was going for the gold (glove) right there, and he ended up with the bronze, or came up with nickel or tin."

Cobb got Hunter to fly out for the second out, and after he intentionally walked reigning MVP Miguel Cabrera for the second time, Maddon replaced him with veteran Joel Peralta. Cobb was at 108 pitches and had struck out Fielder twice, but he said he understood the move, and Peralta struck out Fielder again.

The Rays scored three in the ninth, sparked by Fuld, who found out two hours before game time he was going to play for Kelly Johnson (back tightness). Fuld dropped a bunt single down the first-base line, his headfirst slide barely beating Fielder's tag. Ben Zobrist moved him to third on a single, and Fuld scored on Matt Joyce's sacrifice fly.

Evan Longoria had an RBI single and Desmond Jennings an RBI triple to cap it off, but it was Cobb who stole the show. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 11 starts, with Maddon saying he has had better command, and gone deeper, than eight-game winner Moore.

"Awesome," Fuld said. "He's in a groove, it's fun to watch."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

Rays score three in ninth, beat Tigers 06/05/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 11:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan

    Blogs

    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  2. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP

    Blogs

    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  3. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst

    Blogs

    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  4. Rank the top 10 Bucs players? Here's what fans said

    Blogs

    We mentioned this morning that is was a fun challenge, in response to Sports Illustrated's ranking of the NFL's top 400 players, to ask fans to rank their top 10 Bucs players.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston during last year's Bucs win against the Seahawks. Evans and Winston finished 1-2 in an informal Twitter poll of fans ranking their top Bucs players.
  5. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.

    Storm

    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]