BALTIMORE – Blake Snell is confident Monday night’s outing against the Diamondbacks will go better than his first two since returning to action after breaking a toe on his right foot.
He won’t, however, say exactly why.
“I saw stuff that I need to clean up that I’d like to keep to myself,’’ he said Sunday. “Through this week I felt very confident, very comfortable with how I’ve been throwing the ball.
“I felt really good against (the Royals in Wednesday’s loss, in which he allowed a career-high seven runs). Just happy with how I feel, happy with what I corrected.
“And happy to attack Arizona next. I’m really looking forward to it. I feel good, so I’m excited to get back out there.’’
In two starts following his 10-day injured list stint, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner is 0-2, 12.79, allowing 11 hits and five walks in 6 1/3 innings.
As for a hint at the secret adjustments?
“Just consistency of my delivery,’’ he said. “I like the way I threw. I just need to be consistent. Mostly if I do that, I’ll be fine. I did find stuff that I think will help, and we’ll see how it plays out.’’
The rain really was a pain
Sunday’s rainout was the Rays third of the road trip, one each in Boston, Kansas City and Baltimore. The game with the O’s will be made up in what is now a day-night doubleheader on July 13, the Saturday in the first series after the All-Star break. The Boston rainout is rescheduled as part of a split doubleheader on June 8. The game in Kansas City was made up in a Wednesday doubleheader in which the Rays were swept. This was the third trip in Rays franchise history with multiple rainouts, but the first time in different cities. Sunday’s game, which seemed in jeopardy the whole time, was called at about 1:45 p.m. “Obviously it was tough,’’ manager Kevin Cash said. “There was a lot of rain in the forecast, a lot of rain earlier (Sunday) morning, and it didn’t look like it was going away.’’
Yarbrough status unclear
Lefty Ryan Yarbrough was added to the taxi squad Saturday and officially called up from Triple A and activated Sunday morning in anticipation of pitching bulk innings behind opener Ryne Stanek. But with the game rained out, Jalen Beeks in line to cover bulk innings Tuesday and traditional starters set into the weekend with Yonny Chirinos also available then, the Rays may not have much work for Yarbrough. Plus, starting Thursday, they have three days off in an eight-day stretch, and four in 12. One option would be to send Yarbrough back down to keep pitching regularly and add a more versatile reliever. “We’ve got to talk through things with off-days and stuff like that coming up,’’ Cash said. Casey Sadler was sent back to Triple A to make room for Yarbrough. Optioned players have to stay down for 10 days unless there is an injury.
Expansion twins reunion
The Rays and Diamondbacks go way back, coming into MLB together as the 1998 expansion twins. But there isn’t much familiarity among the current crews, as they last played in 2016, apart from a couple of players who’ve switched sides recently.
Catcher Michael Perez was acquired from Arizona last June for reliever Matt Andriese, and reliever Chaz Roe made his big-league debut for the D’backs in 2013. The Rays shipped popular outfielder Steven Souza Jr. west in spring 2018, but he is out for the season due to a knee injury. Among the players the Rays got back from Arizona, Anthony Banda is recovering from Tommy John surgery and Sam McWilliams and Colin Poche are pitching in the minors. D’backs Monday starter Merrill Kelly was a Rays 2010 draft pick who pitched in their system through 2014 before going to play in Korea and making his MLB debut this season.
Perez, who spent eight years in the Arizona minor-league system before getting brought to the majors by the Rays, is looking forward to the reunion.
“It’s going to be interesting,’’ he said through team translator Manny Navarro. “It’s going to be exciting to see some guys I came up with and helped me in the organization, guys that gave me advice. It will be good to see them.’’
Perez, 26, said the trade obviously was a good thing. “I was stuck (in the minors) over there,’’ he said. “The situation played out the way it did. Nothing against the organization or anything. It was a great change.’’
Comparison of the day
Wins 1611 1698
Losses 1822 1737
Pct. .469 .494
Playoffs 4 6
Div. title 2 5
Pennants 1 1
WS title 0 1
* Right-hander Andrew Moore, designated for assignment last week when Nate Lowe was added to the roster, was claimed on waivers by the Giants and sent to Double A. He was 0-2, 12.98 at Triple-A Durham.
* Matt Duffy was 0-for-1 with a walk in playing five innings at third base for the Class A Stone Crabs in his second rehab game, having been sidelined since spring training with back and hamstring injuries.
* Outfielder Austin Meadows is expected to test his previously sprained right thumb by taking batting practice with the team Monday.