ST. LOUIS (AP) — Alex Cobb struck out 10 and drove in a run with his first major league hit, leading Tampa Bay to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, the Rays’ seventh straight win.
Cobb (6-6) blanked the Cardinals on five hits over seven innings. It was the fourth time he has thrown at least seven innings without an earned run this season. Cobb missed 50 games last season with a concussion after he was hit near the right ear by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer.
Jake McGee pitched the ninth inning for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
The Rays have won 25 of their last 36 games and are 13-4 in July. On June 29, they had the worst record in the majors and have passed 11 teams since.
Tampa Bay completed its road trip at 5-0 and its eight-game road winning streak ties the franchise record set twice. The loss was the third straight for the Cardinals.
St. Louis starter Lance Lynn (11-7) had won three straight and was 4-1 in his last five home starts. He struck out seven and gave up six hits in 6 1-3 innings. Lynn walked three, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch but stranded seven runners in the first five innings.
Tampa Bay pitchers, hitting eighth, drove in the first runs in both games of the short series.
Cobb picked up his first career hit in eight at-bats when he doubled down the first base line with two outs in the second inning to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.
On Tuesday, Rays pitcher Jake Odorizzi drove in the first Tampa Bay run with a safety squeeze bunt.
Tampa Bay made it 2-0 in the seventh with an unearned run. After a one-out single by Desmond Jennings, St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong mishandled a possible double play grounder to chase Lynn. Randy Choate walked pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer to load the bases. Evan Longoria drove in the run with a sacrifice fly off Seth Maness.
The Rays added a run in the ninth on an RBI single by Guyer.
After the first inning Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo left two packages of crackers for Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina on home plate. They were from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who is on the disabled list with torn ligaments in his right thumb.
Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was ejected in the fourth inning. Escobar, who was leading off, vehemently argued with home plate umpire Dan Bellino, who called him out on a 3-2 pitch. Logan Forsy replaced Escobar and played second base with Ben Zobrist moving to shortstop.
NOTES: Rams Pro Bowl P Johnny Hekker threw out first pitch. … Cobb’s hit was the first by a Rays pitcher this season. … The Cardinals activated P Kevin Siegrist from the 15-day DL. He missed 52 games since May 24 with a left forearm strain. St. Louis optioned P Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis. … One day after outpitching Adam Wainwright, Odorizzi got to visit with his boyhood hero at the batting cage Wednesday. “He just said hello and a `nice-to-meet-you’ sort of thing,” said Odorizzi, who is from nearby Highland, Illinois. “We talked pitching a little bit, talked shop. He’s a really nice guy.”