Tampa Bay Rays
Rays' Cobb makes history Friday night
ST. PETERSBURG -
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb turned in a performance for the ages Friday night when he became the first pitcher in major league history to strike out 13 batters in fewer than five innings.
Cobb struck out that many San Diego Padres in 4 2/3 innings. He left after walking a batter with two out in the fifth because his pitch count had reached 117.
The Rays' streak of consecutive five-inning outings by a pitcher from the start of the season ended at 34 when Cobb could not get the last out of the fifth. That was the second-longest streak in MLB history since 1916, the first year records were kept. The 1981 Pittsburgh Pirates hold the major league record with 41.
Cobb also became the second pitcher in team history to strike out four batters in an inning. It happened in the third when he struck out leadoff hitter Will Venable, but the ball got past catcher Jose Lobaton and Venable was safe at first on a wild pitch.
Cobb then struck out the next three batters to end the inning, joining Jeremy Hellickson as the only members of the Rays' four strikeouts in an inning club.
Venable, however, stole both second and third and scored on a balk by Cobb to give the Padres a 3-0 lead. The Rays closed to 3-2 with two runs in the bottom of the inning, then rallied to win 6-3.
The Rays' record for strikeouts in a game is 15, set by James Shields on October 2, 2012 during what became his final start as a Ray.
Cobb's previous high was 10. Cobb and the bullpen went on to strike out 18 Padres, tying the franchise mark for most in a nine-inning game.