Snell’s Solid Outing Paces Rays To Seventh Straight Win

Snell Backed By Trio Of Homers, Rays Hold On 

Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Tampa Bay Rays jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back handing the Boston Red Sox a 4-3 loss in the opener of their three game series.

Blake Snell (4-1, 2.52 ERA) picks up the win for the Rays extending their win streak to seven straight games. They are 8-1 over their last nine and have are 9-5 over their past 14. With the win, Tampa Bay improves 11-13 on the season.

Snell set the tone working quickly and efficiently. He threw a career high 7.1-innings holding the Red Sox potent offense to two earned runs on just five hits. He struck out nine and walked one needing just 104 pitches, 68 for strikes including 17 of the swinging variety.

“Pretty big outing for him [Blake Snell], I know he’s had some good outings but to come in and establish the way he did early on, kind of carved right through their lineup the first time through.” Kevin Cash said. “That lineup is so talented and to be able to do that and limit the damage that he did  you have to have everything going and he did tonight.”

Chaz Roe took over for Snell with the bases empty and 1-out. He allowed a double to Mookie Betts who scored on a J.D. Martinez 2-out RBI single cutting the Rays lead to 4-3. Alex Colome worked the ninth inning and allowed a leadoff infield single but retired the next three Sox batters to pick up his fifth save of the season.

Bats Stay Hot, Power Continues:

The Rays offense failed to score eight or more runs ending the franchise record of five straight such games. Despite not crossing home plate with the same frequency they still had 10-hits, had a baserunner on every frame, and hit three homers.

Wilson Ramos hit his third homer and second in as many games to put the Rays up 2-0 in the first. He has an extra base hit in seven consecutive starts, he’s nearing the club record held of eight such games held by Matt Joyce (twice).  He now holds the franchise mark for longest such streak for a catcher.

Rob Refsnyder got his first start April 17th and the first time he’s entered a game since April 22nd. He delivered a solo homer in the top of the third. It was just his third career homer and first since October 1, 2015 against Heath Hembree of the Boston Red Sox.

Daniel Robertson entered the game leading the American League with a .493 on-base percentage. His hot bat continued as he reached base three times in four plate appearances. He homered to lead off the fourth, doubled in the sixth, and was hit by a pitch in the eighth. It was his third home run of the season and with his double he now has seven extra-base hits in his last seven games.

Other Notes:

  • C.J. Cron continues his hot hitting going 2-for-3 with a walk. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games batting .344 (20-for-58). He’s hit five homers and driven in 15 in that span.
  • Brad Miller went 1-for-4 to extend his current hit streak to three in a row.
  • Blake Snell allowed 5-hits or less for his 10th consecutive start dating back to September 12, 2017. The 10-straight such starts is a franchise record.
  • In 16 starts since his August 8 recall last season, Snell is 9-2 with a 2.71 ERA (28-ER/92.2-IP)
  • Adeiny Hechavarria extended his errorless streak to 73 games.
  • The Rays improve to 4-7 in one run games. Five of the 1-run losses are against the Boston Red Sox.

Duffy Returns:

Tampa Bay Rays
AP Photo: Chris O’Meara

Matt Duffy returned to the lineup for the first times since straining his hamstring April 16th. He returned to a Rays lineup that had scored eight or more runs for five straight games and  scored 49 runs in their last seven games. The Rays went 6-1 in those games.

When the Rays acquired Duffy in 2016 (from San Francisco Giants in the Matt Moore deal), he spoke of the carry over effect of hitting.

“I don’t know if hitting is contagious, but I think the mentality is contagious.” said Duffy. “Once you start feeling that mentality that you can’t get out you run into those runs when eight straight guys get on base because everyone’s going up there with that feeling that ‘I don’t know how it’s going to happen but I’m getting on base here’, so I think mentality is very contagious and that’s how you get on runs like that.”

Up Next For Rays:

The Rays and Red Sox continue their three game weekend series tomorrow at 4:05.  Yonny Chirinos (0-1, 2.92 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays. The Red Sox counter with former Ray David Price (2-2, 2.93 ERA).