by Steve Carney
The Tampa Bay Rays used a stellar outing by Alex Cobb and three home runs to defeat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Saturday at Charlotte Sports Park.
Cobb threw the first three innings, allowing just a first-inning double to Ryan Flaherty, striking out five while walking none.
Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen and reliever Brian Matusz managed to keep Tampa Bay off the score board as well until the fouth inning, when Matusz walked Evan Longoria to start the frame, and Yunel Escobar followed with his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot that landed in the Rays bullpen.
Ryan Roberts followed with a solo home run of his own into the Orioles bullpen, his second homer of the spring to make it 3-0.
An inning later, Sean Rodriguez extended the lead to 4-0 with his first hit of the spring, a solo homer.
Baltimore got one run back in the sixth off Josh Lueke thanks to a Manny Machado triple with one out in the inning, followed by a Jason Pridie single to bring him home.
Fernando Rodney, Brandon Gomes, and Alex Torres also had scoreless outings for Tampa Bay.
The Rays will look to make it two wins in a row Sunday afternoon when the Minnesota Twins come to town. David Price will get the start for Tampa Bay, with coverage on 620 WDAE starting at 1:00. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.