Alex Cobb dominates as Orioles suffer third straight loss

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After using 11 pitchers in 18 innings last night, the Rays needed a big outing from Alex Cobb this afternoon. He delivered, allowing just one run over 8 1/3 innings in a 5-1 victory over the Orioles.

Cobb was in control throughout, giving up just five hits and two walks while striking out 12 batters. He entered the ninth inning with a chance at a shutout, but David DeJesus misplayed a fly ball off the bat of Chris Davis and Adam Jones followed with an RBI single. Fernando Rodney secured the final two outs.

Cobb allowed two runs over eight innings and struck out 10 on Monday against the Rangers, so he’s stepping up at just the right time for the Rays. The 25-year-old right-hander now has a 2.90 ERA and 130/43 K/BB ratio over 136 1/3 innings this season.

Desmond Jennings drove in four out of the five runs for the Rays this afternoon, connecting for a three-run homer in the fifth inning and an RBI triple in the seventh. The 26-year-old only has a .246 batting average this season, but he has established new career-highs with 14 home runs and 54 RBI.

As for the Orioles, time is running out for them to make a run. Here’s our up-to-the-minute AL Wild Card standings:

Tampa Bay – 85-69
Cleveland – 84-70
Texas – 83-70 (.5 games back)
Kansas City – 81-72 (2.5 games back)
New York – 82-73 (2.5 games back)
Baltimore – 81-73 (3 games back)

Rob Manfred to get a five-year contract extension today

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The owners meetings are going on down in Atlanta this week. Unlike a lot of gatherings of baseball dignitaries, we tend not to get much news out of them, however. We know the owners do things like light cigars with $100 bills and, I dunno, play games of chess on human-sized chess boards with lower-level front office employees as the game pieces, but otherwise they tend to be quiet events.

There will be some news out of Atlanta later this morning, though: Commissioner Rob Manfred will be given a five-year contract extension. The vote, Bob Nightengale reports, is expected to be unanimous.

Manfred, 60, has held the job since January 2015. Major League Baseball has achieved record revenues during his tenure and his team landed a very owner-friendly Collective Bargaining Agreement on his watch. In light of that there was zero question that he was going to be re-upped.