ST. PETERSBURG -- Pitching drove the train for the Rays in a 2-0 win over the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field.Alex Cobb returned to the rotation after a stint on the disabled list, earning a no-decision in his first start since Aug. 5. He allowed no runs
ST. PETERSBURG -- Pitching drove the train for the Rays in a 2-0 win over the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
Alex Cobb returned to the rotation after a stint on the disabled list, earning a no-decision in his first start since Aug. 5. He allowed no runs on four hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings.
Four relievers followed Cobb, producing all zeros on the scoreboard. Closer Alex Colome (aka "The Horse" for Players Weekend) got the final three outs to complete the team's sixth shutout of the season while earning his 38th save and clinching the three-game series with the Blue Jays.
"Whenever we have a lead, we don't have an option to give up that lead," said Steve Cishek ("Speedpass"), who picked up his second win for the Rays since coming over from the Mariners in a trade. "We're at that stage of the season where we have to finish these games out. The offense has been great the last few days and hopefully we can just keep it rolling."
The Rays (63-66) and Blue Jays (60-67) continue to try and remain in the hunt in the American League Wild Card race. They began the day with six teams ahead of them for the second Wild Card spot.
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Daniel Robertson's sacrifice fly in the second off Tom Koehler scored Corey Dickerson to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. Dickerson added his 24th home run with two outs in the eighth to give Colome a little breathing room.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Grabs on the go: With one out in the fifth and two aboard, Cishek entered the game to take over for Cobb and face Steve Pearce, and the former Ray hit a deep drive to right-center field. Kevin Kiermaier ("The Outlaw") quickly got into full gear, sprinting to his left until he came down with the drive to save two runs from scoring. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, he charged in to make a diving grab of Justin Smoak's fly ball to shallow center field.
"I feel like the degree of difficulty was up there for both of them, but I made the second one a lot more difficult than what it should have been," Kiermaier said. "I broke back for whatever reason, I thought Smoak hit that better."
"That's what he does," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Kiermaier. "[Center fielder] Kevin Pillar, we get the same thing out of him. Those guys win you games."
Dickerson adds insurance: Dickerson has been struggling of late, but he came through when the Rays needed him, hitting a solo home run off Danny Barnes with two outs in the eighth.
"It's a challenging trip. We're going to go play St. Louis, who has a very good team. Not getting too far ahead, then Kansas City, who's right in the thick of things above us. It always helps when you get on the plane after a series win." -- Manager Kevin Cash, on the Rays coming 10-game road trip
The Rays challenged with two outs in the fifth when third-base umpire Lance Barrett called a ball hit by Josh Donaldson fair when it hit near the left-field foul line. After a 1 minute 38 second delay, the call was overturned, erasing Donaldson's two-run double.
"The foul ball, they must have better cameras up there, I would expect hopefully, because that looked like it caught something," Gibbons said. "But that's why you have replay."
The Rays challenged again in the seventh when Ezequiel Carrera was called safe at first on an infield hit. After a review of 3 minutes 24 seconds, the call on the field stood.
Blue Jays:J.A. Happ (6-9, 3.90) will work on six days of rest as the Blue Jays start their first series of the year with the Twins in Toronto at 7:07 p.m. ET Friday. Happ gave up five runs in five innings in his last start against the Cubs but had held opposing teams to one run in each of his three starts prior.
Rays:Jake Odorizzi (6-7, 4.74) gets the nod when the Rays begin a three-game series against the Cardinals on Friday in an 8:15 p.m. ET contest at Busch Stadium. He is 3-5 with a 6.03 ERA in his last 12 starts, increasing his ERA from 3.14 to 4.74.
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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Blue Jays on Thursday.