Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Oakland 0
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb bounced back
nicely from a subpar outing, tossing his first career shutout, and the Rays
posted a 5-0 win over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game
series between postseason hopefuls.
Cobb (8-8) limited the A's to four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
The right-hander had tied a career high with eight runs allowed last Saturday
against the Angels.
"There was just an excitement all week," Cobb said. "I'm really happy I felt
that way toward it instead of being scared and wonder if I'm going to get hit
Tampa Bay improved to 16-5 in August and is closing in on first-place New
York. The Rays are 2 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees.
The Rays did all their damage in the fifth inning, scoring five runs off
Oakland starter Tyson Ross (2-9).
Ross was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to start Thursday's opener in place
of Bartolo Colon, who began serving a 50-game suspension on Wednesday after
violating the league's drug policy by testing positive for testosterone.
Oakland, one of a handful of teams contending for a wild card spot, lost for
the second time in eight games.
Jeff Keppinger singled to begin the Rays' fifth and Luke Scott narrowly missed
a home run, doubling off the top of the wall in right field. Ryan Roberts then
drove in Keppinger with a sacrifice fly to center. After Jose Molina walked,
Sam Fuld lined a run-scoring single to right.
Ross fanned B.J. Upton for the second out, but Matt Joyce plated a pair by
doubling into the right-field corner. Evan Longoria capped the offensive
surge with an RBI single.
"It's a situation I'm going to have to pitch out of in the future," Ross said.
Oakland shortstop Stephen Drew, acquired on Monday from Arizona, singled
in the fourth to snap an 0-for-22 skid ... Ross gave up nine hits, walked two
and struck out six over six-plus innings ... This series will conclude
Saturday because the Rays' Tropicana Field is going to host a party for the
Republican National Convention on Sunday ... Oakland and Tampa Bay split the
first six meetings this season.
08/24 01:13:44 ET
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