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Preview: Rays at Cubs

Alex Cobb attempts to record his sixth consecutive victory when the Tampa Bay Rays complete their three-game set against the host Chicago Cubs on Sunday. Cobb is 5-0 over his last seven starts, and his importance to the rotation has risen after the recent trade of David Price to Detroit. Tampa Bay, which is 5 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot in the American League, won the first two games of the series - and three straight overall.

Chicago rookie Javier Baez has struck out seven times in nine at-bats in the series and also made a costly error on Saturday as the Cubs fell 4-0. Baez has three homers in his first five major-league games and has struck out 10 times in 23 at-bats while hitting .261. Tampa Bay's Yunel Escobar had three RBIs in Saturday's game, including a two-run single in the inning in which Baez dropped a throw at second on a force play.

TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), CSN Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.52 ERA) vs. Cubs LH Travis Wood (7-9, 5.08)

Cobb received a no-decision against Oakland in his last turn, when he allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He only fanned four against the Athletics after racking up 22 strikeouts over his previous two outings versus St. Louis and Milwaukee. Cobb, who never has faced the Cubs, is 6-2 with a 3.42 ERA in nine road starts this season.

Wood is 0-4 in nine starts since last recording a victory on June 15. He received a no-decision against Colorado in his last outing on Tuesday, when he gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. Wood has worked more than six frames just once during the winless stretch and is facing Tampa Bay for the first time.


1. Chicago batters had just five hits in Saturday's game and combined to strike out 15 times.

2. Tampa Bay 2B Ben Zobrist is 8-for-12 with four doubles and four runs scored during the club's winning streak.

3. Cubs SS Starlin Castro had two hits on Saturday and is 14-for-33 during his eight-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Rays 5, Cubs 4