MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Alex Cobb and two relievers combined on a six-hitter for Tampa Bay’s AL-best 19th shutout this season, and the Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Friday night.

Yunel Escobar’s run-scoring single snapped a scoreless tie in the eighth inning. Cobb didn’t figure in the decision despite going seven innings and allowing two runs or less in his team-record 11th consecutive start. The Rays are 6-5 in those outings.

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The right-hander gave up six hits, one walk and struck out six. Brad Boxberger (4-1) fanned two in a perfect eighth, and Jake McGee struck out all three batters he faced for his 16th save.

Evan Longoria and Wil Myers started the eighth inning with consecutive singles off Ryan Webb (3-3). Evan Meek walked James Loney before Escobar made it 1-0 with a hard single that went off the glove of second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

Ryan Hanigan extended the lead to 3-0 with a two-run single.

Tampa Bay has been involved in 36 shutouts this season, going 19-17 in those games. The Rays won for the seventh time in the last 20 games.

The AL East-leading Orioles were coming off a 9-2 homestand.

Tampa Bay played in its team-record seventh 1-0 game Thursday night, a loss to Toronto that gave the Blue Jays their first three-game road sweep of the Rays. Tampa Bay has scored 13 runs over its last six games.

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Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen, bidding for his 15th win, gave up four hits, three walks and struck out three in six innings.

The Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the second on a single and two walks, but failed to score when Sean Rodriguez hit a fly to right on a 3-2 pitch.

Cobb got defensive help in the sixth from Myers, who made a diving catch in right field on Chris Davis’ two-out fly with Adam Jones on second.


Orioles: 1B Steve Pearce (abdominal strain) took batting practice and could start Saturday. Pearce, from nearby Lakeland, has five homers in 13 games against the Rays this season. … LHP Andrew Miller (hamstring) felt fine after a bullpen session.

Rays: CF Desmond Jennings (sore left knee) missed his eighth straight game. Ben Zobrist made his second start this season in center.


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Orioles RHP Kevin Gausman (7-7) is 2-1 in his last four starts. Rays LHP Drew Smyly (9-10) is 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts since being acquired from Detroit on July 31.