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  1. Rays

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

Published Jul. 6, 2017

Yes, LHP Blake Snell threw five shutout innings, showed better command and, using mostly fastballs, slightly improved his strike percentage (60 of 97). But in two starts since returning from his six-week exile to Triple-A, he hasn't looked improved enough to inspire confidence.

CF Mallex Smith had a career day, rapping four hits and scoring three runs, bumping his average to .333. Even more impressive, manager Kevin Cash said, has been his strike zone awareness, specifically in not expanding. That's rare for a young hitter.

As bad as RHP Alex Colome looked in allowing two runs during a 38-pitch save Tuesday pitching coach Jim Hickey insisted there were signs he is coming out of his now two-week funk: "I was more concerned before than I am now if he throws the ball as he did (Tuesday) ... I think he's fine, really."