(Sports Network) - Tampa Bay righty Alex Cobb can stay unbeaten for the season
at home when the Rays host the San Diego Padres on Friday night in the opener
of a three-game interleague series at Tropicana Field.
A 25-year-old from Boston, Cobb has won all three of his starts in Florida
this spring, defeating Cleveland, Oakland and the New York Yankees while
allowing just three runs on 17 hits in 23 innings.
The former fourth-round draft pick debuted with the Rays with nine starts in
2011, then won 11 times in 20 decisions last season while posting a 4.03
earned run average across 136 1/3 innings.
He's 10-7 with a 3.23 ERA in 20 career starts at home, compared to an 8-6 mark
and a 4.15 ERA in 18 road starts.
Cobb has never faced the Padres.
He's opposed by Dominican righty Edinson Volquez, who's won three straight
starts after beginning the season with three losses and a no-decision.
The 29-year-old ended the skid with a 2-1 win over Milwaukee on April 24, and
has subsequently topped the Chicago Cubs and Arizona while allowing five runs
on 11 hits in 12 1/3 innings.
Volquez won 17 games for the Cincinnati Reds in his initial season after being
acquired from Texas for outfielder Josh Hamilton. He struggled with injuries
and ineffectiveness afterward, however, and was just 13-12 for the Reds in
three subsequent years before a trade to the Padres for starter Mat Latos.
In his initial full year in San Diego, Volquez was 11-11 in 32 starts with a
He defeated the Rays in his lone career meeting with them.
On Thursday at Tampa Bay, Luke Scott drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the
winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, and the Rays salvaged a split in
a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 5-4 victory.
Toronto reliever Aaron Loup (1-3) retired the first two batters in the 10th
before Evan Longoria doubled. Longoria nearly scored the go-ahead run two
innings earlier, but was thrown out at home on a Scott single.
After intentionally walking James Loney, Loup was replaced by Brad Lincoln,
who issued a free pass to Ryan Roberts that loaded the bases.
Scott quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count before working the decisive walk.
On Wednesday in San Diego, Jason Marquis tossed an eight-inning gem and the
Padres eked out a 1-0 win to earn their second shutout in a three-game sweep
of the Miami Marlins at Petco Park.
By forcing 13 groundball outs and allowing just two hits over his final five
innings of work, Marquis (4-2) won his third straight decision, with the help
of a sacrifice fly from Yonder Alonso. The Padres had just four hits.
Huston Street struck out a pair in the ninth to record his eighth save of the
season and preserve the Padres' fourth win in a row and 11th in 14 games.
The teams have split 12 games across four interleague series since 2002. San
Diego won two of three the last time they met, at Tampa Bay, in 2010.
The Sports Network