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Rays’ Alex Cobb finally makes return to major league baseball

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For 716 days, he was an outsider. For almost two years, he was a spectator.

Friday night, Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays was a big-league pitcher again.

Cobb, recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw five effective innings in Friday night’s 8-3 victory over Toronto. Cobb allowed only four hits and two runs in his five innings and struck out the side in the fifth. He retired his last 10 batters.

“Well, I’m happy,” Cobb said. “It started off a little bit shaky, but I feel like that play [in the 1st] that Logan Forsythe made with the shift over to the right a little bit, made a throw across his body and got (Troy Tulowitzki) by a decent amount really settled me down. I remembered I’m working with a big league defense also, and realized I could pitch to contact also so I started being a little more aggressive. I think the game took a turn from that point.

“I was happy in the fact that I felt back to that competitive nature on the mound. I wasn’t being cautious, wasn’t thinking about mechanics, wasn’t thinking about injury possibilities. I was just out there and wanted to get outs. I felt the groove of the game again. I felt quick innings, get off the field, give your guys a chance to handle the sticks a bit and get your team back in the lead.”

The Rays opend the game up with four runs in the eighth inning. Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa made his major league debut for Tampa Bay.

Blake Snell pitches for the Rays today.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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