The Tampa Bay Rays were already in a jam before Desmond Jennings stepped to the plate in the top of the first inning Sunday at Coors Field.

Ben Zobrist left the team to join his family after the death of his grandmother. Yunel Escobar could not play because of a bruised left hand suffered Saturday night.

As a result, the Rays bench was two players short, meaning they were down two pinch-hitters in the later innings.

Oh, and it was the final game on a long road trip that was short on wins but not drama.

The Rays needed a big day from pitcher Alex Cobb, a long outing that would reduce the need for pinch-hitters and increase the likelihood of getting out of Colorado with a win that would make the long flight home seem shorter and create, perhaps, a little momentum into the 10-game homestand that begins tonight.

And Cobb delivered.

The Rays won 8-3 behind Cobb's pitching and a strong showing by the offense, which jumped to an early lead and tacked on runs in the later innings.

“It was a must-win game for us I feel like to close out this road trip,” Cobb said. “It feels like we've been on the road for a whole month, been through some tough times.”

John Denver's “Rocky Mountain High” was playing loudly in manager Joe Maddon's office afterward, a sign from Maddon that all is good in the Rays world.