Snell Becomes First Rays Starter To Go Seven
Snell (3-1, 2.54 ERA) picks up the win for the Rays who improve to 7-13 on the season. The victory gives the Rays their first three game win streak of the season and they have won four of their last five. They are 6-5 over their last 11 and have won back-to-back series for the first time since August 25-30, 2017 (St.Louis/Kansas City).
Kyle Gibson (1-1, 4.29 ERA) takes the loss for the Twins who fall to 8-7 on the year. The Rays have gone just 5-10 against the Rays since the beginning of 2016 and 1-4 at Tropicana Field.
How It Happened:
Blake Snell was magnificent twirling seven innings allowing one earned run on five hits struck out six and walked none. It marks his second consecutive start without issuing a walk. He has now faced 49 batters without issuing a walk.
He improved to 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA at Tropicana Field this season, allowing just 2-runs in his last 37-IP under the roof. The most important part of Snell’s game right now is trust.
“I’ve wanted to be more consistent in the zone. I like how my stuff plays, but it’s only going to play in the zone.” Snell said. “The whole spring and the whole season it’s been ‘throw it in the zone’. Trust it. Know that it’s going to work.”
Snell continues an positive trend for the starting staff. Rays starters have gone six or more innings in four of their last five games, compared to twice in their first 15 games of the season. He becomes the first Rays starter this year to complete seven innings in a start.
The biggest moment of the game for Snell came in seventh inning with the Rays leading 2-1. Robbie Grossman led the inning off with a well placed bloop double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Eddie Rosario.
With the infield pulled in, Mitch Garver sent a soft liner that appeared to be headed to right field, but Joey Wendle went back and made an over the shoulder the catch and held the runner at third. Snell ended the inning by striking out Ehire Adrianza.
The Rays extended their lead in the bottom of the seventh. With one out Joey Wendle tripled and scored on a Wilson Ramos double. Mallex Smith singled Ramos to third and advanced to second when Adeiny Hechavarria grounded to third. Denard Span followed with a 2-RBI single and trotted home on C.J. Cron‘s second home run of the game.
Daniel Robertson extended the Rays lead to 8-1 with a solo homer in the eighth. It was the Rays third homer of the game. It’s just their second multi-homer game and first three homer game of the year.
Robertson has been extremely patient at the plate of late (see last nights 34 pitches), but hadn’t taken advantage of it. “I think [Daniel Robertson] before the home run was probably a little bit frustrated and got a couple of 2-0, 3-1 pitches and grounded them out or fouled them off.” Cash said. “That last at-bat got into a 3-1 count and hit that ball a long way.”
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 22, 2018
Adeinny Hechavarria added an RBI single driving in Joey Wendle to give the Rays a 9-1 lead. Hechavarria reached base three times during the game with a pair of singles and a walk.
Denard Span continued his impressive run with runners in scoring position. He delivered an RBI single in the 8th to drive in Mallex Smith. It was the first time the Rays scored 10 runs or more since September 4, 2017 when the beat the Twins 11-4 at Tropicana Field. Span is now 9-17 with runners in scoring position and has driven in a team leading 17 runs on the season.
Matt Andriese finished the final two innings holding the Twins scoreless.
Dozier Extend’s Streak:
Brian Dozier doubled to lead off the game to extend his hitting streak to 22 games dating back to the end of last season. He advanced to third on a Joe Mauer groundout and came into score on Miguel Sano‘s sacrifice fly.
Cron’s Multi-Homer Game:
C.J. Cron hit Kyle Gibson‘s 0-2 pitch for a 2-run homer in the bottom of the third inning. He hit his second homer 2-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Rays a 7-1 lead. It was his third and fourth home runs on the season and his ninth multi-homer game of his career. As a team, the Rays have hit 13 homers on the season and 11 have been solo shots.
Up Next For Rays:
The Rays and Twins will finish their three game series on Sunday afternoon. The Rays will be looking for the series sweep and have a chance to end their 9-game home stand on a winning note. Yonny Chirinos (0-1, 2.70 ERA) will take the mound for the Rays. The Twins will counter with right hander Phil Hughes making his season debut.
Chirinos On Upcoming Start:
Chirinos is happy to be told of his upcoming start a full day ahead of time. He’s also going to have a good idea of his next start in the rotation as he has officially been added to the rotation. (More Here).
Cash on Adding Chirinos To Rotation:
In Other Rays News:
Brandon Snyder, who was designated for assignment Friday, has cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A. He appeared in two games with the Rays and went 1-for-6 with a double.