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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, May 19th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Braves (25-15) at Tampa Bay Rays (24-16), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Randall Delgado (2-3, 3.79) Tampa Bay - Alex Cobb (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - Alex Cobb will make his first start in the majors this season when the Tampa Bay Rays host the Atlanta Braves in the second game of a three-game interleague series at Tropicana Field.

Cobb will return to the big leagues for the first time since last August, when he came out on the losing end of an 8-0 decision against Oakland. In the game Cobb went just 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits in what tied for his shortest outing of the 2011 season.

The right-hander made all nine major league starts of his career a season ago and has a career record of 3-2 to go along with a 3.42 ERA.

A 2006 fourth-round draft choice, Cobb has spent the beginning of this season with the Tripla-A Durham Bulls where he has gone 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA in eight starts.

After already matching the number of starts he made in his rookie season a year ago, Atlanta's Randall Delgado will take the mound for the eighth time this year aiming to keep his success in May going.

Delgado made seven starts last season, filling in primarily at the end of the season as five of those starts came in September. Delgado did well in those starts and finished the year with a 1-1 record and an impressive 2.83 ERA.

Carrying over into this season Delgado has continued to be a reliable back of the rotation starter, compiling a 2-3 record with a solid 3.79 ERA in seven starts this season.

After struggling through April, Delgado has enjoyed the month of May with three starts in which he has allowed two runs or fewer, including a career- long outing of eight innings in a 4-0 loss to Philadelphia on May 3.

In Delgado's last start he came just short of finishing the seventh inning but still managed a quality start by allowing just an unearned run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He did not end up factoring in the decision as the Braves dropped the game to Cincinnati 3-1.

Delgado has pitched just once against AL competition in his brief two-year stint in the majors. In that outing Delgado went just four innings allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits in a 6-2 loss to the Rangers in June of the 2011 season.

In the first game of the series the Braves won a duel between the Brave's Tommy Hanson and Tampa Bay's James Shields by a 5-3 margin.

Hanson earned the victory in the game allowing two runs over seven innings on six hits while striking out three.

Freddie Freeman went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI while Martin Prado also went 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three runs scored for the Braves, who remain atop the NL East standings.

Shields finished out six innings but allowed four runs on seven hits despite striking out eight in taking the loss.

Luke Scott was 3-for-3 and had a pair of RBI for the Rays, who took just their fifth loss at home this season. The Rays are now two games back of the first- place Baltimore Orioles.

These teams squared off in an interleague series in Atlanta in 2010 when the Braves took two of three. In the last series in Tampa Bay the Braves yet again took two of three in 2006.

05/19 10:33:16 ET

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