Tampa Bay Rays catcher Rene Rivera, left, talks to relief pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser after Riefenhauser relieved starting pitcher Alex Cobb in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Thursday, March
Brynn Anderson
March 12, 2015

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb shrugged off a tough outing, saying he'll learn from it.

The Rays' opening-day starter failed to get through three innings of Thursday's 10-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, however Cobb reiterated progress isn't always reflected in a spring training pitching line.

''The results weren't very good. But it's good to have that happen, so you can kind of identify things that go wrong and might pop up during the course of a season, and be able to make adjustments,'' Cobb said.

''When things are going well, you aren't working on making adjustments,'' the right-hander added. ''There are some things I feel like I can do better.''

Cobb breezed through a perfect first inning, but gave up one run in the second and two in the third.

''You can either hang your head and walk out the door and be upset about it,'' he said, ''or you can find some positives out of it and try to use that to make yourself better to get ready for the season.''

Steve Souza Jr. and Logan Forsythe homered during an eight-run fifth inning for the Rays, who trailed 3-0 and had not scored more than five runs in a game until putting together the big rally against right-hander Marco Estrada.

Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle was impressive, allowing two hits and striking out two in 3 1-3 scoreless innings. Estrada yielded seven runs and seven hits in two-thirds of an inning, including Souza's solo homer.

''I'm just building up pitches and innings,'' Buehrle said. ''I'm pretty much just working on getting outs down here.''

Toronto manager John Gibbons said Estrada ''just had one of those days.''

''He got hit around pretty good. He'll bounce back,'' Gibbons said. ''It happens sometimes. Nobody knows why.''


Blue Jays: Buehrle has allowed four hits over 5 1-3 innings in his two spring outings. The 35-year-old left-hander has yet to walk a batter. He threw 43 pitches - 21 strikes- against the Rays. ''His history says he doesn't have good springs,'' Gibbons said. ''The last couple of years he had a good spring, so who knows what to expect. Hopefully, he gets off to the kind of start he had last year.''

Rays: The 27-year-old Cobb is the oldest member of the Rays' rotation. His 1.79 ERA over 14 starts after last season's All-Star break was fourth-lowest in the majors.


The Rays had their biggest offensive output of spring training. Blue Jays pitchers allowed 15 hits. Forsythe capped the eight-run fifth inning with a two-run homer off Matt West.

''That was awesome. That inning was fun to watch,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ''We were due for one of those breakout innings.


Buehrle is trying to get accustomed to the clock that's being used speed up games between innings. He said he usually tosses eight warmup pitches, but says he's thrown more this spring.

''I'm throwing a lot more than I probably should. ... I get to eight pretty quick, and I turn around and realize I have a half-minute left,'' Buehrle said. ''I probably have to time it out a little better so I don't get too worn out.''


Blue Jays: OF Dwight Smith, 3B Mitch Nay and LHP Andrew Albers were reassigned to minor league camp.

Rays: SS Daniel Robertson and OF Boog Powell, prospects obtained in offseason trades involving major leaguers, were reassigned to minor league camp.


Blue Jays: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez takes the mound at home against Baltimore. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez starts for the Orioles.

Rays: No. 2 starter Chris Archer pitches on the road in Clearwater against Philadelphia. Left-hander Joely Rodriguez starts for the Phillies.

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