Cobb, Rays lose 8-1 to Pirates

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm •  Published: June 23, 2014
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon is taking a short-term approach in a season that is looking less promising each day.

Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer to back the pitching of Edinson Volquez and lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Monday night.

The Rays, with the majors' worst record at 31-47, have lost 19 of 27. Tampa Bay had no bounce coming off a four-game series in which it beat Houston three times.

"It's about right now," Maddon said. "It's winning the series."

Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 5, drove in two runs and stole two bases for the Pirates in a homecoming of sorts for the 2013 NL MVP, who grew up in nearby Fort Meade and had never played before at Tropicana Field. He also scored twice in Pittsburgh's first appearance in St. Petersburg since 2003.

Alvarez went deep off Alex Cobb (2-6) during a four-run fourth inning that also featured the first of McCutchen's two RBI singles.

Maddon earlier set a goal of rebounding to a .500 record, which would require a 19-3 run.

"I feel like with every loss it's an opportunity missed," Cobb said." We're fighting. Feels like if we're going to do this we need to get on a streak to really reached the ultimate goal of being 50-50. If we're going to start doing that, we need to start getting on a hot streak now."

Cobb, making his seventh start since spending five weeks on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, allowed six runs and six hits in five innings.

Volquez (5-6) allowed five hits in a season-high eight innings.

James Loney drove in Tampa Bay's only run with a two-out, first-inning single, and the Pirates helped their starting pitcher by turning three double plays.

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