Snell continues to be a new man for Rays in win

by Gary Shelton on September 2, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Morrison has five home runs in his last five games./STEVEN MUNCIE

Morrison has five home runs in his last five games./STEVEN MUNCIE

Saturday, 3 a.m.

One of the biggest advantages the Rays have as they try to chase down the second wild card spot in the American League is …

Blake Snell?

Really?

Lately, you want to see some i.d. when the kid pitches. He has turned around his season on the fly.

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Snell seems like a different pitcher./CARMEN MANDATO

Snell seems like a different pitcher./CARMEN MANDATO

At one point, Snell was 0-6, and it didn't look as if he would ever get the hang of the big leagues. Ah, but look at hime now. Snell has been one of the Rays' best pitchers lately. It was true again Friday night, when Snell tamed the Chicago White Sox in a 3-1 victory.

Snell threw 6 2/3 innings, scattering six hits and allowing only one unearned run. His presence on the mound is much improved than it was early in the season. In his last 10 starts, Snell has allowed only 19 earned runs, an ERA of 2.94. In his previous six starts, Snell had a 6.75 ERA.

Hechavarria has been flawless on defense./CARMEN MANDATO

Hechavarria has been flawless on defense./CARMEN MANDATO

His latest success allowed the Rays to even their record at 68-68.

“Another really strong performance by Blake,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “Outstanding effort. The double play ball helped him along. Just get them to hit it to Hetch. That seems to be the key. I know he had more pitches left in the tank, but our bullpen has done so well.”

Snell got nice offensive support from Kevin Kiermaier (two hits, two runs) and Logan Morrison (three hits, including his 34th home run of the season). He got solid support defensively from Adeiny Hechavarria. And, after he left, he got shutout relief from Steve Cishek, Tommy Hunter and Alex Colome, who had his 41st save.

Morrison has had a fine road trip, hitting .480 with five home runs and 11 RBI. His RBI total is up to 79.

“I hope he stays hot,” Cash said. “Hopefully, his bat stays as loud as his mouth.”

The Rays had only six hits themselves, three by Morrison.

The Rays play the second game of the series tonight when Chris Archer pitches against Carlos Rodon. The game begins at 7:10 p.m.

Colome now has 41 saves for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Colome now has 41 saves for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

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