Saturday, April 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Snell struggles in short start against Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG — Hot prospect LHP Blake Snell wasn't so hot in his second big-league start.

Summoned to join the rotation so RHP Matt Andriese could be shifted to help the bullpen, Snell lasted only 31/3 innings while throwing 92 pitches in Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Mariners, allowing eight hits and three walks that led to five runs, though only one earned due to sloppy defense.

Manager Kevin Cash said the problem was that Snell, 23, was too erratic and noted the disciplined approach by the veteran Seattle hitters.

"It looked like he was featuring some pretty nasty weapons, but they were either laying off of it or not trying to do too much, or taking their hits," Cash said.

C Curt Casali cited a lack of fastball command, leading him to call for more off-speed pitches whereas Snell usually throws about 70 percent fastballs.

Snell, pitching against his hometown team, said the issue was that he wasn't aggressive enough.

"I should have attacked more," Snell said. "I want to be aggressive in the strike zone. I was feeling like I was trying to be too pretty, trying to nitpick everything. But (it's) something I can definitely learn from and get better."

Snell, impressive in his April 23 cameo debut in New York, will get that chance. Cash said he will stay in the rotation, lined up to start again Tuesday in Cleveland.

MORE GAME STUFF: In addition to errors on a ground ball and a throw that led to three runs, SS Tim Beckham also made a curious, if not wrong, decision not to try and score on a fly ball to rightfield in the sixth inning. … RHP Ryan Garton also made an error, the team's third three-E game of the season. The four unearned runs allowed were their most since June 2014. … OF Jaff Decker showed off his arm in the seventh, nailing Chris Iannetta at the plate.

LONGO OUT: 3B Evan Longoria admitted that the left forearm soreness that sidelined him Thursday after forcing him from Wednesday's game was also the reason he missed the June 7 game in Arizona. But he said he is not concerned it is a long-term issue despite two flare-ups in 10 days and hopes to play tonight.

"It's really just when I check swing it just gets sore," he said. "It's the same symptoms as it was last time. It feels pretty much identical. And it responded well the next day after that so that leads me to believe it will be hopefully the same thing."

GARTON GONE: Garton was optioned back to Triple-A Durham after throwing 53 pitches over 22/3 innings as the Rays will add a fresh arm, likely either RHP Danny Farquhar or Steve Geltz, both of whom were up earlier.

Cash said Garton, the Mitchell High product, showed well in his first big-league gig, posting a 1-0, 3.52 mark. "I think I did well," Garton said. "I think they know I'm a decent arm and I can succeed at this level, and I think I proved that to myself as well."

REHAB REPORT: RHP Ryan Webb (strained right pectoralis) felt good is his first rehab outing Wednesday and will make another Saturday for Durham, hoping to return during next week's road trip. … RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) advances Saturday to the first of three or four live batting practice sessions on a once-every-five days schedule, then moves on to rehab starts, with his targeted return looking more real. "We're on track for late-July/early August as long as I feel good physically; it's all about the bounce back after," Cobb said. "I'm super happy, I don't want to get too excited yet. … OF Steven Souza Jr. (left hip strain) is hoping for a minimum two-week absence, a key being how he responded to a cortisone shot.

MISCELLANY: The Rays are 4-for-29 with runners in scoring position over their last two games and left 29 men on. … Wednesday's 3-2 13-inning win came on Logan Morrison's bases-loaded walk, the fifth walk-off walk in franchise history. The Rays struck out 19 times, tying a team record, and left 18 men on. … At 4:28, it was the longest game of the season.

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