ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays righty Alex Cobb started Monday's game against the Red Sox wonderfully, but it ended poorly.
After surrendering a two-run homer to Jacoby Ellsbury in the sixth inning that also featured a wild pitch and passed ball, Cobb and catcher Jose Molina were arguing in the Rays' dugout and had to be separated by pitching coach Jim Hickey.
Following the Rays' 5-2 loss, Cobb said didn't say a word to Molina after the inning ended and didn't know how the argument escalated, adding that the wild pitch and passed ball had nothing to do with it.
"That's the one thing I want to be clear, is that I wouldn't approach a teammate like that," Cobb said. "That was not instigated by me. ... I got some texts from people [who] think it was me, but that wasn't instigated by me at all."
Cobb said he did not speak to Molina after the game, and Molina refused to speak to media in the clubhouse.
Manager Joe Maddon chalked up the altercation to "boys being boys" and said the situation was handled in the dugout immediately. Maddon confirmed that the balls in the dirt were not the reason for the dispute.
Maddon maintained after the game that he was not concerned about his battery, citing an altercation between Matt Garza and Dioner Navarro in 2008 that turned out to be nothing serious.
"I'm not unhappy," Maddon said. "That's overblown sometimes. That can actually be a good thing. It's fine right now, it's very fine."
Cobb took the mound in the seventh with Molina behind the plate, but he surrendered a single and a walk to begin the inning before being pulled for Burke Badenhop.
"That didn't affect me going into the seventh inning, although it looked like it maybe did," said Cobb, who allowed four runs (three earned) en route to his ninth loss. "It had nothing to do with that."
Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.