BALTIMORE — Tyler Glasnow struck out 10 over five innings to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat Alex Cobb and the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Friday night.
Glasnow (4-1) allowed one run, four hits and a pair of walks. The right-hander has won four straight decisions, a streak that began with a 13-strikeout performance against the Orioles on Aug. 25.
Although he worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second inning, the effort upped his pitch count and led to his departure after the fifth at 95 pitches.
“Getting out of that second inning was a big step for me, but that’s where a lot of the pitches came from," Glasnow said.
He ended his stint with a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
“We’re very aware of everybody’s workload right now," manager Kevin Cash said. “I'm glad he was able to get through the fifth clean and get the win."
The Rays clinched a post-season berth on Thursday night, and now the AL East leaders are looking to charge into the playoffs as division champions. Tampa Bay started the day with a 3 1/2-game lead over the Yankees.
“We want to win the East, and to do that we’re going to have to play really well," Cash said before the game. “You do that and you’ve got momentum going into the post-season ."
The Rays are trending in that direction. They've won six of eight, including the first three games of this five-game set, and are 9-1-4 in their last 14 series.
Cobb (1-5) gave up two runs and four hits over six innings. Despite those solid numbers, the right-hander fell to 0-4 against the team he pitched for six seasons through 2017 before signing a four-year, $57 million contract with Baltimore.
Since joining the Orioles, Cobb is 0-11 with a 5.29 ERA in 18 starts at Camden Yards.
He missed most of last season after undergoing hip surgery, and is still trying to get over it.
“I’ve created a lot of bad habits since I came back from surgery. Still trying to clean those up," Cobb said.
A few close calls that didn't go his way also played a part.
“He was frustrated a little bit," manager Brandon Hyde said. “I wasn’t sure how long he was going to be able to go for the first couple of innings, but he gave us six really good innings. I was pleased with that. He picked us up, gave us a chance to win."
Cobb's problem in this game was that the 6-foot-8 Glasnow allowed no margin for error. Cobb gave up a two-out RBI single to Nate Lowe in the first inning and was victimized by his own right fielder in the third.
Pressed against the wall on a deep fly by leadoff hitter Yoshi Tsutsugo, DJ Stewart dropped the ball on what was ruled a triple. Two batters later, Brandon Lowe hit an RBI single.
Austin Hays led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run to make it 2-1.
“The only changeup I threw," Glasnow said. “I was like, ‘I’m not throwing that again."'
Glasnow and the Rays bullpen allowed nothing more. Ryan Sherriff, the fourth Tampa Bay reliever, worked the ninth to earn his first big league save.
Rays: OF Austin Meadows was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain that will keep him sidelined until deep in the playoffs. “We’re going to have to play really, really well to see him at any point the rest of the season," Cash said. .... LH Cody Reed (finger numbness) was moved to the 45-day IL, ending his season.
Orioles: SS José Iglesias rested his sore quadriceps and bruised shin until flying out to the warning track as a pinch hitter in the ninth. “A well deserved day off for him," Hyde said.
Rays: RH Charlie Morton (1-2, 5.14 ERA) starts Saturday night in the fourth game of the series. Morton allowed a combined six runs and 10 hits over 9 1/3 innings in his last two starts.
Orioles: RH Jorge López (2-0, 5.23) is coming off his best outing of the season, allowing just one run in seven innings against Atlanta.
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David Ginsburg, The Associated Press