Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' red-hot Tim Beckham rewards manager's confidence

ST. PETERSBURG — INF Tim Beckham's recent production is why he started Saturday at shortstop against the Yankees.

"I think he's warranted some opportunities with the way he's come in and helped us here of late," manager Kevin Cash said before the game.

Beckham made the most of the rare start by extending his hitting streak to six games with a single and a two-run homer in the Rays' 6-3 victory.

Beckham, who had an infield hit overturned by replay in the fifth inning, is 12-for-22 (.545) during the streak that began after the All-Star Break.

Beckham singled in the third inning and scored on C Curt Casali's home run. His two-run homer in the seventh with RF Steve Souza Jr. on first gave the Rays a 6-2 lead.

YOU AGAIN: LHP Blake Snell will finally pitch against a team for the second time in his career when he faces the Yankees this afternoon.

Much has changed since Snell held the Yankees to an unearned run and two hits in five innings April 23 in the Bronx. Snell baffled the Yankees with his curveball, striking out six against two walks in what became a 2-1 loss.

"It'll be cool to see how much has changed in that time," Snell said.

He said he is a different pitcher since then, but only because he has more confidence in himself now.

"I'm more aware of what works for me and what I know is going to work against them," he said.

Snell said he doesn't plan on making any adjustments. Cash said he doesn't want Snell to change anything.

"They're definitely going to have more history to look back on now of Blake," Cash said. "They can advance him a little hit and see what's made him successful and what to try and expose him with. Blake, he's throwing the ball really well. I don't think he's going to change too much from what he's done to have success her of late."

COBB PLEASED WITH RESULTS: The work RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) put in on his mechanics during the seven days between rehab starts paid off Friday when he pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts for Class A Charlotte.

"I feel like I'm on the right track now," Cobb said.

With a delivery that's unorthodox to begin with, Cobb said he needed more time after a 14-month layoff to find his arm slot and repeat his delivery.

"The reason I took a step back was because I needed to make some major adjustments," Cobb said. "I figured those out, thankfully, now there are some minor adjustments to be made to become more repeatable."

IS IT A RECORD OR NOT? Brad Miller hit his 16th home run Saturday, which broke the franchise single-season record for home runs by a shortstop set in 2003 by Julio Lugo and tied last year by Asdrubal Cabrera.

But, Miller was the DH on Saturday, so he still has 15 home runs as a shortstop. Lugo and Cabrera hit all their home runs as a shortstop.

The Rays PR staff is giving Miller the record, saying the record is for the player who plays the majority of his games at that position.

REHAB UPDATES: RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) struck out five and walked one in three innings Saturday for Double A Montgomery. … LF Desmond Jennings (left hamstring strain) went 2-for-5 with a homer for Class A Charlotte and played nine innings in leftfield in his second of back-to-back games.

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