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Cobb returns for Rays' finale against Mariners

(Sports Network) - Alex Cobb returns to the Tampa Bay Rays rotation on Thursday when they try to secure a series win over the Seattle Mariners in the finale of a three-game set from Tropicana Field.

Cobb hasn't pitched since taking line drive in the right ear off the bat of Kansas City's Eric Hosmer back on June 15. Luckily, Cobb remained conscious through the whole ordeal and only had to spend one night in a hospital.

"The fans have been so supportive through all this, whether they're sending in letters or tweeting me," said Cobb, who was 6-2 with a 3.01 at the time of the incident. "It's going to be nice to make my return in front of them."

Cobb, who will likely be limited to around 90 pitches, is 4-0 with a 3.02 ERA in eight starts at the Trop this season.

"My mindset will be the same as it was when I was pitching before," said Cobb. "Hopefully the competitive side of me will take over, and I'll be able to keep this team in the ballgame."

Seattle, meanwhile, will counter with veteran lefty Joe Saunders, who has lost three of his last four starts. Saunders was roughed up by the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday to the tune of nine runs (4 earned) and seven hits and 4 1/3 innings to drop him to 10-11 on the year to go along with a 4.69 ERA.

Saunders has lost both of his starts to the Rays and has pitched to a 7.59 ERA in doing so.

Tampa stopped a six-game losing streak on Wednesday, as Jason Bourgeois knocked in the winning run in the ninth inning to power the Rays to a 5-4 win.

The Rays entered the final frame behind by a run, but Matt Joyce tied the score following a leadoff triple from Ben Zobrist and Bourgeois sent the fans home happy with a shot well past the positioning of right fielder Endy Chavez.

Danny Farquhar (0-1) didn't record an out and was charged with four hits, two runs and a blown save that prevented Seattle from capturing its third straight win.

"Forget about it and move on," Farquhar said of the blown save. "Can't dwell on one so just move on and get them tomorrow."

Tampa Bay won six of 10 from the Mariners last season.

08/15 10:18:43 ET