Alex Cobb's strong start put a sting in the Orioles' chances to win the AL East as the Rays defeated their division foe, 5-3, Monday night at Tropicana Field. The victory moved Tampa to within one game of a tie for the second AL wild card. For Baltimore, the loss dropped them a game back in the East, as the Yankees slugged their way past the Red Sox, 10-2.
Chris Gimenez gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning with a solo homer to left field, and Cobb held the line on the pitching front, hurling seven innings of one-run ball while allowing just two hits and striking out seven. The run came off Matt Wieters' solo job in the seventh inning.
Tampa Bay tacked on three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Evan Longoria reached on a fielding error to lead off the inning and moved to third on a Jeff Keppinger single. A sac fly by Ben Francisco put the Rays up by one, and Sam Fuld followed through with a single. Chris Gimenez padded Tampa's lead with a two-run double, and Carlos Pena's RBI force out in the eighth put the Rays up by four going into the ninth.
Kyle Farnsworth had a meltdown on the mound; after allowing a single to JJ Hardy, he surrendered a two-run home run to Chris Davis, halving the home team's lead. Fernando Rodney came on in relief and allowed a pair of singles, but he managed to slam the door on the Orioles' rally to pick up his 47th save of the season.