BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.
And he might have pitched for the last time as a Ray.
With his innings total pushing 180 in his first full season after Tommy John surgery, with his 12-10 record and 3.66 ERA a proper reflection of his good work, and with his Rays team all but officially out of the playoff race, Cobb might skip his final start slated for Thursday in New York.
That's probably the smart move.
Realistically, he doesn't have anything else to prove as he heads toward free agency and a rich multiyear deal elsewhere after seven seasons with the Rays, though no final decisions have been made.
"We all have to understand where Alex is at from an innings point," manager Kevin Cash said. "I don't know what's enough, what's too much, but it's a lot given what his workload was last year, and understandably so. But he goes out there and puts that out of his head and finds a way. That's just the kind of competitor he's shown all season. And really all of his career."
If Friday was his finale, he went out in what is classic Cobb form, grinding his way through six innings, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but giving up only three runs and his team winning the game.
"It was a battle," Cobb said. "You feel like you're out there for 15 innings and you look up, it's only the fourth."
With a first-inning grand slam by Wilson Ramos and a third-inning blast by Evan Longoria, the Rays tied their franchise single-season record with 216 round-trippers. (For about two minutes in the eighth it appeared they broke it, but a Ramos shot to right ruled a homer was reversed to a double by the replay crew.)
The Rays are 75-79 and five games behind the Twins, who hold the second AL wild card. Any combination of four Twins wins and Rays losses officially ends their chances.
Cedeno, Montoyo worried about family in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico
LHP Xavier Cedeno and third-base coach Charlie Montoyo are worriedly awaiting word from parents and other family members in their native Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
"I haven't heard from them, so I'm hoping for the best," said Cedeno, whose mother, sister and about 30 relatives live in and around Guayanilla. "Hoping they are okay and praying a lot. … It's a constant thing on my mind. Sleeping has been a little hard."
Montoyo's parents went to his sister's house in Vega Baja, and he similarly has anxiously been waiting for days to hear something from somebody, carrying his cellphone in his back pocket everywhere but onto the field in hopes phone or internet service on the island is restored. "It's been tough," said.
Adding to the frustration, Montoyo said, is the inability to do anything to help, as flights aren't yet available and there would be no guarantee he could traverse to their part of the island given the damage and lack of electricity. "There's no way to get there," he said.
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Quote of the day
"I hope he saved me a T-shirt."
Rays 1B Logan Morrison about ex-mate Tim Beckham, whose big August debut with the Orioles led to a T-shirt promotion
Numbers of the day
0, 9 Errors since Aug. 1 by Rays SS Adeiny Hechavarria and errors by Orioles SS Beckham. During that time, Hechavarria ranks first in the league at the position with a 1.000 fielding percentage; Beckham is 25th of the 27 qualifiers at .959.
. RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who came up with and pitched five seasons for the Rays, faces his ex-mates tonight for the first time, even though Longoria is the only hitter he spent much time with. "It'll be fun," Hellickson said. "It's still the Rays, it's still the team I grew up with."
. Beckham told Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry he enjoyed catching up with his ex-Rays mates. "It was a blast to get to see the guys and talk to them, see how they're doing and see how the vibes are around the locker room, and stuff like that."