BALTIMORE — There is so much for RHP Alex Cobb to reacquaint himself with after his two-month layoff while he recovered from a concussion. He took care of the pitching part Thursday during his first start since June 15. Sunday night he tackled another issue when he made his first road trip since early June. “I was a mess on the plane,” he said. “Left my carry-on luggage on the plane. Just forgot the whole process.” Upon hearing that, LHP Matt Moore said Cobb’s post-flight actions made sense.
“I noticed he was working his way against the current when we were getting off the plane,” Moore said. Cobb faces the Orioles tonight in the second game of this three-game series pitting playoff contenders. He feels more relaxed knowing he will be pitching on his normal pitch range — 100 to 105 pitches — and that he knocked the rust off during his 7-1 victory against the Mariners. “There were three different points last game — out of synch, in synch and extremely tired,” Cobb said. He said he didn’t feel in synch until the third inning. “Thinking too much mechanically, thinking if arm is in the right place, head is in the right place, and you can’t pitch like that,” he said. “You got to have it all in the right place and be in rhythm. There was too much thinking going into each pitch.” Monday’s session with reporters focused mostly on his traveling faux pas, his feeling comfortable on the mound and the work of C Jose Lobaton behind the plate. There wasn’t much talk about his injury, which is another sign Cobb is back to normal. “Everyone turns into a little bit of a doctor when you talk to them,” Cobb said of life while recovering from his concussion. “It’s nice to have normal conversations lately.” Jennings returns The Rays activated CF Desmond Jennings from the disabled list and sent RHP Brandon Gomes to Triple A Durham, where he will remain until Sept. 1 when the rosters expand. Jennings said his fractured left middle finger felt fine Sunday during his rehab game with Class A Charlotte. “Swinging the bat, everything was good,” Jennings said. Jennings will wear a hand guard while running the bases. “To get him back in the leadoff spot, he was doing a great job with that,” manager Joe Maddon said. “His speed on the bases, his base running ability, his defense, all that stuff is great to have him back.” Moore feeling good Moore (sore left elbow) played catch at 90 feet Monday and said he threw at about 90 percent of his normal effort. Moore, whose comeback has been slowed by lingering pain when he throws his change-up, is expected to throw a bullpen Wednesday and hopes to throw a simulated game Saturday. “We badly want him back but not at the expense of rushing it,” Maddon said. Maddon added that Moore, who hasn’t pitched since July 28, might need to throw two simulated games or make a minor-league start before rejoining the rotation. If all goes well, Maddon said Moore could return during the upcoming West Coast trip. Noteworthy The Rays will juggle the rotation for the weekend series against the Yankees. Expect RHP Roberto Hernandez to work out of the bullpen. ... RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) accompanied the Rays to Baltimore, a sign Crain is making progress. ... Maddon said Lobaton will not receive more playing despite his big weekend against the Blue Jays. ... According to Elias, Lobaton is the first catcher since Wally Schang of the 1917 A’s to have a walk-off triple and a walk-off home run in a three-game span.