American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, June 25th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (40-32) at Kansas City Royals (31-39), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Alex Cobb (3-3, 3.82)
Kansas City - Luke Hochevar (4-7, 5.65)
(Sports Network) - Alex Cobb hopes to follow up a brilliant effort in his last
start when the Tampa Bay Rays begin a three-game series with the Kansas City
Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Cobb scattered just two hits over seven scoreless innings last Sunday against
the Miami Marlins to run his record to 3-3, while lowering his ERA to 3.82. He
also struck a batter out to end an inning in five of the first six frames.
"I felt horrible during my bullpen," Cobb said. "[When that happens] is when
you sometimes pitch your best, because you focus on every pitch. It turned out
"Everything [about his bullpen prior to the game] was horrible. Couldn't
locate my fastball, changeup was up, didn't even come close. Thankfully, that
made me zero in more than anything else."
Cobb beat the Royals the only other time he faced them last season, holding
them off the board for seven innings.
Tampa closed interleague play on a positive note with a doubleheader sweep of
the Philadelphia Phillies.
After Carlos Pena's three-run home run carried the Rays to 3-2 win in the
first game, Brooks Conrad hit a pair of doubles and knocked in four runs to
power Tampa to a 7-3 triumph in the nightcap.
Kansas City, meanwhile, was not as successful, as it was swept in a three-game
series by the St. Louis Cardinals, falling 11-8 in Sunday's finale.
Mike Moustakas hit a pair of home runs for the Royals, who were outscored by a
30-14 margin over the three games. Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur also
Jonathan Sanchez gave up six runs on four hits over 5 2/3 frames. He walked
six and struck out three. Tim Collins (4-2) allowed five runs -- four earned
-- on three hits over 1 2/3 innings to take the loss.
"We put some offense on the board," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We just
fell behind early. Sanchez really struggled with his command in the first two
innings, then actually settled down to get us into the sixth inning. We just
kept battling back."
Getting the call for the Royals tonight will be righty Luke Hochevar, who was
brilliant his last time out. Hochevar defeated the Houston Astros on Tuesday,
scattering five hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings, as he improved to 4-7 to go
along with a 5.65 ERA.
Hochevar has faced the Rays six times and is 1-2 with a 7.42 ERA against them.
This is the first meeting of the season between these teams, but Tampa won the
final five encounters in 2011.
06/25 10:32:16 ET