Pirates beat reporter Rob Biertempfel 's inside look at Monday's game:
• Alex Cobb has not allowed an earned run in four of his nine starts this season. He's gotten only 11 runs of support in 54 1⁄3 innings pitched. If Cobb had pitched enough innings to qualify, his 1.82 runs of support per nine innings would be the lowest in the AL. Four of the runs the Rays scored for Cobb came in one game. The lowest rate of run support for a qualified pitcher in Rays history is 3.51 to Tony Saunders in 1998.
• Through Saturday, Rays pitchers led the majors with 656 strikeouts. They amassed 199 whiffs through their first 20 games this month. Among AL pitchers, David Price (133 strikeouts) ranks first, Jake Odorizzi (91) is 10th and Chris Archer (79) is tied for 18th. With 591 strikeouts, Pirates batters are in the middle of the pack in the NL. Starling Marte (80) has the eighth-most Ks in the NL and Pedro Alvarez (69) is 18th.
LF Starling Marte, who flew to the Dominican Republic Saturday morning to deal with a personal matter, is expected to rejoin the team in time for Monday night's game.
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