ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Back on June 3, Alex Cobb looked like a pitcher whose season was in trouble. He had just given up a career-high nine earned runs to fall to 4-5 with a 4.52 ERA.
Six weeks later, the Tampa Bay Rays’ right-hander has become an entirely new pitcher.
Cobb continued his turnaround on a warm Saturday night, holding the Los Angeles Angels to one run in the Rays’ 6-3 victory.
He did not allow a run until Luis Valbuena hit a solo home run in the sixth, the first of two homers for him.
Cobb (8-6) allowed six hits and three walks in his 7 2/3 innings, with four strikeouts. Since that June 3 start against the Baltimore Orioles, he has gone 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA in seven starts, going at least six innings in each.
“We had a bunch of production kind of spread out through the lineup, but the story is still is really how Alex pitched,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash.
Helped by drives hit almost directly at fielders, Cobb dominated early before falling behind in the count in his later innings.
“Fortunately when it did get to those counts, I was able to make some pitches or they hit a line drive at somebody,” Cobb said. “It’s not something that’s a formula for success going down the road, but was able to get by with it tonight.”
He was supported by a 14-hit attack. Logan Morrison provided the key hit with a two-run homer in the third for a 3-0 lead. It was his 25th home run. Steven Souza Jr. added a solo homer in the eighth to give him a career-high 18 home runs.
The Angels’ JC Ramirez (8-8) allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out five.
“JC gave up a bunch of hits early but made some pitches to minimize the damage,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. “I thought JC’s stuff was OK, not bad, but had trouble at times making pitches when he had to.”
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