ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Alex Cobb had a successful return after being sidelined by a scary injury.
Cobb pitched five strong innings in his first big league game since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 7-1 on Thursday night.
"I'm happy with everything that happened tonight," Cobb said. "I learned a lot. I got to a point where I know that going forward I'll be getting better and I can take a lot of stuff from tonight's game."
Cobb (7-2) ended his night by striking out Nick Frankiln on a full-count pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. He received a standing ovation as he walked off the field.
"That was really fun to watch," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's really impressive to see him comeback from that injury that well."
Cobb gave up one run and three hits, striking out six and walking two. He said that he never thought about his injury during the game.
"That's probably something I'll reflect on tonight, but there's so much stuff you've got to think about leading up to every single pitch that you go through, you don't have time to think about the what if's and what happened," Cobb said.
Wil Myers, who had four RBIs, drove in two with a double and Evan Longoria added a two-run homer off Joe Saunders (10-12) that put the Rays up 5-1 in the fifth.
"He's a great guy to have back in the rotation," Myers said of Cobb. "We're excited to have him back."
Cobb, activated from the 60-day disabled list before the game, sustained a concussion after being struck on the right ear by a liner hit by Kansas City's Eric Hosmer on June 15. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and was hospitalized overnight.
"Everybody goes through troubles," Cobb said in a prestart interview session with reporters on Wednesday. "If you let it wear you down and affect the way you think and affect the way you live, then it beat you. You got to beat the situation, and go out there and just be happy to be back."