BALTIMORE — It was probably a sign that the Rays were going to stumble in their attempt to sweep the Orioles on Sunday when manager Kevin Cash took an awkward step during a pregame run outside Camden Yards and fractured his left ankle.
The rest of the day didn't get any better, as the Rays lost 7-1, killing the momentum from their previous two wins as they headed to Chicago with a 43-41 record for an off day then a reunion Tuesday with former manager Joe Maddon at Wrigley Field.
Starter Alex Cobb had a couple of missteps of his own.
With two on in the third, he threw wildly to first after fielding a routine comebacker to give the Orioles their first run on what should have been the second out. Two pitches later he gave up a three-run home run to Manny Machado.
It didn't help that the Rays offense disappeared again, as they were shut out by Kevin Gausman for seven innings, managing just two hits. Catcher Jesus Sucre got the Rays on the board with a homer in the eighth off reliever Mychal Givens, the Tampa product.
Even though he had good results in his last outing, starting with six no-hit innings, Cobb was not pleased with his overall performance.
He started well Sunday, retiring the first six, but quickly got into trouble in the third, allowing a single to the first batter and hitting the second.
After a bunt moved the runners up, Cobb calmly fielded Seth Smith's comebacker, looked Caleb Joseph back to third then sailed his throw to first, immediately putting his head in his hands.
Worse was the 0-and-1 fastball he left over the plate that Machado lasered over the wall.
Cobb gave up another homer to Mark Trumbo to open the fifth.
For the day, he worked into the seventh, allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits.
Chris Archer will be on the mound Tuesday when the Rays face the Cubs in a matinee.
Marc Topkin can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.