ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Alex Cobb had his worst start of the season Saturday and the Seattle Mariners handed the Tampa Bay Rays their 11th loss in 12 games, 7-4.
“There’s no better feeling in the world than walking off the mound having done your job and giving your team a chance to win,” Cobb said, “and there’s no worse feeling than walking off the mound and giving your team absolutely no chance to win the game.
Cobb was tagged for 10 hits and seven runs, both season highs.
“When things are going tough, I never want to feel like this,” he said.
Dustin Ackley hit a three-run double off Cobb (1-4) during a four-run fifth that put the Mariners ahead 7-2.
Roenis Elias won his second consecutive start for the Mariners, who have taken six of seven.
Elias (5-4) was chased after giving up a two-run homer in the eighth to Evan Longoria that cut the Mariners’ lead to 7-4. The left-hander allowed four runs and five hits over 7 2-3 innings.
Fernando Rodney, the former Rays closer, pitched the ninth to get his 17th save in his first appearance at Tropicana Field since joining the Mariners as a free agent in February.
James Loney homered for the Rays, who had stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating Seattle on Friday night.
Cobb is 0-3 in four starts since returning from a strained left oblique.
“After that first game back against Oakland, I thought I was on my way,” he said, “but I just haven’t found that consistency with all my pitches right now. It’ll come. It’s a feel, and I really did have that feeling a couple times tonight but I just didn’t repeat it like I should have.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon said it was unusual to see Cobb hit so consistently.
“Just not Cobb’s day,” Maddon said. “I was surprised how well they were on him today. Maybe the changeup didn’t have the normal dive today because they were on it.”
The Rays celebrated the life of senior adviser Don Zimmer before the game. Zimmer died Wednesday night at 83. Joe Torre, Jim Leyland and Tommy Lasorda, along with more than 20 family members, were present.
NOTES: The Rays designated reliever Josh Lueke for assignment and recalled RHP Kirby Yates from Triple-A Durham. Yates entered in the seventh to make his big league debut. … Seattle 2B Robinson Cano singled in the fifth and has a 16-game road hitting streak. … Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) and C Ryan Hanigan (hamstring) started minor league rehab assignments with Single-A Charlotte. Hellickson gave up two hits in three shutout innings against Tampa. … Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (8-1) and Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (3-3) are Sunday’s scheduled starters.