St. Petersburg, FL – Alex Cobb spun seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball Sunday as the Tampa Bay Rays blanked the Miami Marlins, 3-0, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
Cobb (3-3) struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed one walk and hit one batter, snapping a personal three-game skid. Joel Peralta tossed a clean eighth in relief before Fernando Rodney fired a perfect ninth to record his 19th save of the season.
"We had good energy today under the circumstances," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, in reference to the team's 15-inning marathon on Saturday night. "You could feel it in the dugout and Cobb had a lot to do with that."
B.J. Upton belted a solo home run and scored twice, while Ben Zobrist and Drew Sutton each plated a run to help the Rays improve to 5-1 against their in- state rivals this season.
Josh Johnson (4-5) absorbed the loss after giving up two runs on eight hits and four walks over six frames. Greg Dobbs and Gaby Sanchez registered the only two hits for the Marlins, who managed just one hit in the series opener on Friday.
"He was getting out ahead, making us swing and miss and making us foul pitches off," said Dobbs of Cobb. "He had very good stuff today."
Upton got the Rays started on the right foot with his leadoff homer in the bottom of the first to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
A two-out walk came back to haunt Johnson in the sixth as Elliot Johnson coaxed a walk, swiped second and came around to score on a flare into center field off the bat of Sutton to double Tampa Bay's edge.
The Rays then took advantage of a Marlins mistake in the seventh when Upton reached second after first baseman Sanchez was unable to secure a throw from Hanley Ramirez at shortstop.
Zobrist then plated Upton with a single through the left side of the infield to extend the Rays advantage to 3-0.
The Marlins struck out 10-plus times in each game of this three-game weekend set...Tampa Bay left eight men on base and went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position...The Rays wrapped up their six-game homestand at 2-4.