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Rays Report

A baseball blog by Roger Mooney

Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald.

Cobb aiming to help Rays sweep road trip

By
Published:   |   Updated: July 23, 2014 at 04:06 PM

— The Rays will try to sweep this five-game road trip tonight against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The Rays started the trip with three wins against the Twins and a victory Tuesday night against the Cardinals, when local product Jake Odorizzi out-pitched all-star Adam Wainwright.

A win and the Rays will go undefeated during a road trip of at least two cities for the first time in team history.

The Rays have won a season-high six straight and 17 of their last 22.

Alex Cobb, 9-2 in 14 starts since the start of the 2013 season against teams who appeared in the playoffs the year before, faces Lance Lynn tonight.

Cobb will bat eighth as manager Joe Maddon continues to buck tradition and moved his pitcher out of the bottom spot in the order. This is the third time he’s done it this season and fourth time since last August.

Odorizzi batted eighth Tuesday and drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt in the third inning.

Jeremy Hellickson was the first to bat eighth. He did it Aug. 11, 2013 against the Dodgers. Cesar Ramos hit there April 13 when the Rays played the Reds in Cincinnati.

Former Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine batted third May 17, 2009 during a home game against the Indians, but that was not by design. The lineup card Maddon presented to the umpires listed two third basemen – Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist. The snafu meant Longoria had to sit and Sonnanstine had to bat in place of the designated hitter.

That was the first time a pitcher batted in an American League game since Ken Brett of the White Sox on Sept. 23, 1976.

Sonnanstine got a hit, too.

In addition to Hellickson, Ramos and Odorizzi, Zach Greinke of the Royals batted eighth at Houston in 2009, and David Phelps of the Yankees hit eighth at Colorado in 2013.

Here are the lineups:

Rays

Jennings CF

Zobrist 2B

Joyce LF

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B

Escobar SS

Molina C

Cobb P

Kiermaier RF

Cardinals

Carpenter 3B

Wong 2B

Holliday LF

Adams 1B

Perlata SS

Taveras RF

Jay CF

Cruz C

Lynn P

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