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October 6, 2013

Ex-North Reading resident to pitch vs. Sox in Game 3

BOSTON — One reason for area Red Sox fans to show at least a bit of love to the Rays is Tampa Bay right-handed hurler Alex Cobb, who spent the very early part of his life living in North Reading.

Cobb’s family moved from North Reading to Vero Beach, Fla., when Cobb was just 2 years old. Cobb’s parents raised their sons as Boston Red Sox fans.

The right-hander still has family in Worcester and friends of the family in North Reading. So he, his parents and brother visited this area every summer when he was young.

Cobb will take the mound in Game 3 of the American League Division Series tomorrow in Tampa Bay opposite Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz.

The 25-year-old Cobb went 11-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 22 starts this season. He also was the winning pitcher in the one-game Wild Card playoff in Cleveland on Wednesday. He hurled 6.2 scoreless innings.

He started just 22 games because he went on the disabled list for two months after a line drive back to the mound struck him in the right ear on June 15. He sufered a concussion and was carted off the field on a stretcher.

“Alex is definitely a strong-minded kid so after he got hit, I would get texts from him saying he’s doing great, he’s going to be back soon and he really wanted to get back on the field,” Rays bench coach Dave Martinez said before yesterday’s game. “So we knew it wasn’t going to be long. He was just waiting to be cleared.”

Cobb demonstrated his ability to thrive in a pressure situation Wednesday.

“He’s become that pitcher just by hard work,” Martinez said. “He wants the ball every five days. If it was up to him, he’d take it every three days.”

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