Pitcher becomes second Ray to strike out four in one frame
ST. PETERSBURG -- One of the stranger frames of the Rays' season took place in the third inning of Friday night's game against the Padres.
Rays starter Alex Cobb became the second pitcher in team history to strike out four batters in one inning; Jeremy Hellickson turned the trick Aug. 25, 2011, against the Tigers. But that was just the half of it.
Cobb's start marked the first time in Major League history that a pitcher struck out 13 in an appearance lasting fewer than five innings.
And his third inning marked the first time since Major League inning records are first available that a team scored a run in an inning in which every batter struck out (three or more batters). The Padres sent four batters to the plate and all four struck out -- but they still managed to score a run.
Here's what happened:
Cobb struck out Will Venable to start the third, but he uncorked a wild pitch that rolled to the backstop for strike three. That allowed Venable to reach first. Venable then stole second on the same pitch that saw Chase Headley become Cobb's second victim.
Venable stole third shortly before Carlos Quentin became Cobb's third strikeout of the inning.
Despite Cobb's bad luck, he appeared close to escaping the inning unscathed. And he would have had he not balked, which allowed Venable to score the Padres' third run.
Yonder Alonso then struck out swinging to give Cobb four strikeouts for the inning -- and nine through three innings of work.
"I was mad at myself for half that inning," Cobb said. "I gave up two stolen bases, which I've been working hard on not to do. After that balk, I don't know if I've been any angrier when I've been pitching."