Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

Here is what happened: ground ball to SS Adeiny Hechavarria to start a double play and a line drive to left to end the inning.

"It's easy for that inning to spiral a little bit, and he made some big pitches," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "Got a ground ball. Got him to hit to Hech, which is always smart to do, and quieted them the rest of the way."

Snell turned in another impressive outing Wednesday in the Rays' 8-1 victory over the Cubs in front of an announced 24,238 at Tropicana Field.

The Rays (74-78) won for just the fourth time in their past 12 games and pulled within four games of the second AL wild card. The loss snapped the Cubs' seven-game winning streak.

Snell allowed two hits and walked three in seven scoreless innings. He is 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his past six starts

"Good environment for him to pitch in," Cash said. "Hopefully that's something that he can build off of. Look forward to many seasons pitching in that type of environment because it was loud and, especially after last night, a tight ball game he needed to come pitch well against a very good team, and he did."

The Rays' bats came alive against LHP Jon Lester. In the first, Steven Souza Jr. snapped an 0-for-23 with his 30th homer of the year. Wilson Ramos had three hits, including a two-run single in the fifth that made it 6-0.

Numbers of the day

30 Home runs this season by Souza, who had 33 career homers entering this season.

7 Times since 1912 (when Baseball Reference is available) that the No. 9 hitter had the only hit in a game be a home run after the Rays' Brad Miller did it during Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Cubs.

Injury updates

LHP Xavier Cedeno (arm fatigue) will be activated from the 60-day disabled list for tonight's game in Baltimore. INF Danny Espinosa was outrighted off the 40-man roster to clear room for Cedeno. SS Matt Duffy (offseason heel surgery) is scheduled to join the instructional league team today. He expects to play in the first game Monday in Bradenton. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (Tommy John surgery) has completed his rehab and will begin his offseason today. Cash said Eovaldi put a "check next to every box" during his year rehabbing from his Aug. 19, 2016, surgery. The Rays want him to have a normal offseason so he is ready to compete for a rotation spot in spring training.

Al Lopez House benefit

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House, along with the Ybor City Museum Society, will host Homeruns & History, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, at Ybor City's Centennial Park. The event is free. Proceeds will benefit the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. Area MLB alumni Nardi Contreras, John Tamargo, Manuel Seoane, Jason Romano, Lenny Faedo and Jason Michaels will sign autographs from noon to 1. There will be a watch party at 7 p.m. at Coppertail Brewing for the Rays-Orioles game.

Miscellany

• Triple-A Durham manager Jared Sandberg will join the Rays in New York next week.

• Former Yankees CF Bernie Williams played an acoustic version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the seventh inning stretch to raise awareness for the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Comments
Rays journal: Sound familiar? Yankees make Monday a ‘Bullpen Day’

Rays journal: Sound familiar? Yankees make Monday a ‘Bullpen Day’

ST. PETERSBURG — In an effort to line up their pitching staff for the postseason, the Yankees stole a page out of the Rays playbook Monday night. New York designated the game  a "bullpen day" and did it ever use its bullpen.RHP Jonathan Ho...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Playoffs gone but goals aren’t for Rays to finish season

Playoffs gone but goals aren’t for Rays to finish season

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' postseason hopes, as unlikely as they had seemed, officially ended with Monday's 4-1 loss to the Yankees, manager Kevin Cash speaking for many saying they should be proud of what they did.And that doesn't mean they do...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Monday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Monday’s Rays-Yankees game

LHP Ryan Yarbrough wasn't horrible, but he wasn't fooling anybody as the Yankees scored three in his five innings, rapping five hits, including four doubles. Yarbrough, who hadn't lost since July 21 and has a rookie-high 15 wins, also walked two, hit...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For starters: Kevin Kiermaier out of lineup as Rays host Yankees

For starters: Kevin Kiermaier out of lineup as Rays host Yankees

Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier is out of the starting lineup tonight against the Yankees with a sore shoulder. He will be available if needed.The same goes for SS Willy Adames, who was held out Sunday due to illlness. Mallex Smith takes over...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

TORONTO — Blake Snell doesn't look like he can be stopped.He pitched again for the Rays in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays, he dominated again and he won again.That's both a major-league-leading and team-record-breaking 21st victory for...
Published: 09/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Part of what makes LHP Blake Snell so good is his deep, high-quality repertoire, having four above-average pitches, which is more than most. When fastball command isn't sharp, he can still beat you with an assortment of top-notch curves, sliders and ...
Published: 09/23/18
Rays journal: Teammates come through for Blake Snell

Rays journal: Teammates come through for Blake Snell

TORONTO — LHP Blake Snell knows he is the one getting all the attention for the remarkable season he has compiled, but he wants to make sure his teammates get some of the credit."It's cool that it's under my name,'' Snell said, "but it's all of...
Published: 09/23/18
For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

UPDATE, 12:14: Snell takes the mound today leading the AL in wins, ERA (1.97) and opponents average (.179). … Cash noted that Snell "is in elite company now with the Rays, and he has the chance to stand alone." …  The Rays note that ...
Published: 09/23/18
Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

TORONTO — There was no drama, no emotional rescues after Saturday's game.After feeling, appropriately, crushed after they gave away Thursday's game, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth, then bouncing back Friday, the Rays on Saturday faced a st...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

OF Tommy Pham insists he doesn't feel locked in at the plate. Interesting, since it's hard to imagine he could get much hotter: 345 in 31 games since coming to the Rays and .402 while reaching base in 24 straight games, a career best and current AL h...
Published: 09/22/18