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Rays' Alex Cobb finds a few kinks he needs to work out

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the bullpen during the first official workout of Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015.
Published Mar. 13, 2015

PORT CHARLOTTE — After three seemingly effortless spring innings, including a near-spotless cameo Saturday against Pittsburgh, opening day starter Alex Cobb encountered the initial kinks of his season in Thursday's 10-3 win against Toronto.

Minor mechanical flaws, he insisted. "By no means am I doubting myself," said Cobb, who scattered three runs on five hits in his 47-pitch effort. "There's just some good stuff that happened that I can learn from."

After striking out two in a 15-pitch first inning, Cobb allowed a run on three hits — including Caleb Gindl's leadoff double — in the second. He exited after surrendering a two-run single to Josh Donaldson with one out in the third.

"The biggest thing today was not being aggressive out in front of my release; kind of just trying to watch the plane of the ball," he said.

"Things were working pretty easily in the first inning, and then I got out in the second inning and … I don't want to say lazy, but I wasn't as aggressive out in front of my pitches that I should've been."

ROBERTSON, POWELL REASSIGNED: The team made its first roster moves of the spring, reassigning top prospect SS Daniel Robertson and OF Boog Powell to minor-league camp.

Robertson and Powell were acquired in the offseason from Oakland in the Ben Zobrist trade. Their invitation to Rays big-league camp appeared to be a result of a previous commitment by the A's, but both took advantage to impress manager Kevin Cash with what they did and how they did it.

"I don't know how much you value first impressions, but they couldn't have been any better for both of those guys," Cash said.

CASH DEAL: The multiyear aspect of Cash's contract with the Rays is five, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported. Rays officials, Cash and his agent have declined since his December hiring to reveal the terms.

OFFENSE SIGHTING: An offense that barely registered a pulse through the first eight spring games had a veritable one-inning palpitation against the Blue Jays.

The Rays' eight runs off as many hits in the fifth inning were more than one-third of their total (21) in the first eight contests. Their two home runs, by Stephen Souza Jr. and Logan Forsythe, were one shy of the team total entering the game.

"We were due for one of those breakout innings," Cash said. "It seemed like everybody was squaring up baseballs. Any time you bat around, you're doing something right."

MEDICAL MATTERS: OF Brandon Guyer (oblique/lat strain) did dry swings, tee work and front toss, but he still has no date set for game action. "All positives from today," he said. … RHP Alex Colome, who threw 30 pitches in live batting practice Wednesday, went home sick. "He's got stomach, fever, everything," Cash said. "Had a rough night (Wednesday) night." … LHP Drew Smyly (shoulder tendinitis) continued his normal exercises Thursday morning, including throwing a ball in a sock, but he did nothing throwing-wise. "Everything went well with Drew," Cash said. … The team said LHP Matt Moore will take a scheduled two-week break from throwing in rehab from Tommy John surgery. He's still eyeing a "June-ish" return.

GAME DETAILS: With a runner on first, Desmond Jennings ended the fourth with a shoestring catch of an Ezequil Carrera liner to left. … Nonroster invitees Brandon Gomes and Jordan Norberto were among six relievers who logged at least one scoreless inning. … 3B Evan Longoria, who struck out twice, is hitting .182 this spring.

ODDS AND ENDS: Cash said Souza will play some innings at first Saturday against Baltimore. … RHP Jake Odorizzi is slated to throw in a minor-league intrasquad game Monday, when the Rays are off.


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