Alex Cobb pitched a four-hitter for his first major league shutout and the surging Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics, 5-0, Thursday night in St. Petersburg, Fla., to pull within 2½ games of the first-place Yankees in the AL East.
Matt Joyce hit a two-run double in a five-run fifth inning against Tyson Ross, who was hastily called up from the minors to pitch in place of suspended Oakland starter Bartolo Colon.
Cobb (8-8) struck out eight and walked two in his second career complete game, both this season. He bounced back from a poor outing against the Angels — eight earned runs in 2⅔ innings Aug. 18 — to win for the fourth time in five starts.
It was the 14th win in 17 games for the Rays and their seventh shutout since July 19. Oakland dropped into a tie with Baltimore and Detroit for the AL’s second wild-card spot, 2½ games behind the Rays.
Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2 — Austin Jackson made a diving catch in the top of the 10th that kept the game tied and host Detroit won it in the 11th on Alex Avila’s two-out RBI single. The victory capped a three-game sweep and left the Tigers only 1½ games back in the AL Central.
Justin Verlander struck out 12 in nine innings for the Tigers, but didn’t earn a decision. Joaquin Benoit (3-3) got the win.
Phillies 4, Reds 3 — John Mayberry Jr.’s RBI single in the bottom of the 11th lifted the Phillies and denied Cincinnati its first series win in Philadelphia since 2006.
In a matchup between NL Cy Young Award candidates, neither Johnny Cueto nor Cole Hamels was sharp. The Reds’ Cueto (two runs in five-plus innings) failed to become the first 17-game winner. Hamels gave up three runs in six innings for the Phillies.
Rockies 1, Mets 0 — Tyler Chatwood combined with four relievers on a shutout as host New York left 12 men on base. The win gave Colorado a sweep of the four-game set.
Cardinals 13, Astros 5 — After falling behind, 4-0, host St. Louis rallied to send Houston to its seventh consecutive loss. David Freese had a three-run homer and Matt Holliday contributed a three-run double.
Rangers 10, Twins 6 — Josh Hamilton had five RBIs and Adrian Beltre hit his fourth homer in two days for host Texas.
Giants 5, Braves 2 — Barry Zito (10-8) took a three-hit shutout into the ninth and Hector Sanchez’s two-run double highlighted host San Francisco’s four-run fifth.