Rays, Snell break 8-game skid against King Felix

by Gary Shelton on June 10, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Blake Snell helped the Rays end an eight-game slide./STEVEN MUNCIE

Blake Snell helped the Rays end an eight-game slide./STEVEN MUNCIE

Sunday, 3 a.m.

It wasn't enough that he turned into his team's stopper. It wasn't enough that he further established himself as the team's leading contender for the all-star game. It wasn't sufficient that he won his fourth straight game.

On the way, Blake Snell overthrew the King.

King Felix Hernandez, who seemed to own the deed to the Tampa Bay Rays before Saturday, was unceremoniously dumped from the ranks of royalty Saturday afternoon. The Rays scored six times (five earned runs) in only three innings against the Mariners ace.

Talk about an uprising. Hernandez has usually looked down on the

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Mallex Smith had three hits for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Mallex Smith had three hits for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Rays from his throne. In 17 previous starts against the Rays, he was 9-2 with a 1.89 ERA. Included on his resume was a perfect game against Tampa Bay.

But Hernandez is 32 now, and he's a fading star. On Saturday, the Rays were no longer his subjects.

Daniel Robertson leaps up for the catch./STEVEN MUNCIE

Daniel Robertson leaps up for the catch./STEVEN MUNCIE

“I think I had pretty good stuff, they just put the ball in play," Hernandez said. "They put a lot of balls in play and they found holes, and like I said, tough luck.”

Meanwhile, Snell put an end to his team's eight-game losing streak. The Rays scored six times in the first three innings, and Snell allowed just one earned run in  his six innings.

“Obviously we needed a win," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We talked about it before the game that we needed Blake to step up. We’ve complimented him all year the way he has continued to impress and tonight was another big step in that direction.

Chaz Roe reacts after getting his first save of the year./STEVEN MUNCIE

Chaz Roe reacts after getting his first save of the year./STEVEN MUNCIE

"We needed that stopper performance. We got it from him. He gave up an early run, but after that really held them in check and allowed our offense to get going. We had some good at-bats against Félix and that ultimately led to a win to snap out of this funk.”

Jake Bauers had his first two career hits to lead the win.

“He’s played well," Cash said. "He’s played really well and it was good to see

Jake Bauers had the first two hits of his career./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jake Bauers had the first two hits of his career./STEVEN MUNCIE

him get that first hit and follow it up with another one. He’s so confident when he gets in the box and when he gets up there, if he likes it, he takes a hack at it and it’s line drives all over. That double that he hit for his first hit hopefully that turns into Jake Bauers patented double because that’s what he’s done a lot of his career. He’s hit a lot of doubles and his defense at dirst has been very good.”

Said Bauers: “It feels good. I felt about 45 pounds lighter, to be honest with you. I went to sleep last night and all I could think about was that and a win and to knock them both tonight, it felt great.”

Over his last four starts, Snell is 3-0 with a 0.76 ERA.

“For what I had today, I’d say it was good," Snell said. "The thing I’m

Rob Refsnyder frustrated after striking out./STEVEN MUNCIE

Rob Refsnyder frustrated after striking out./STEVEN MUNCIE

frustrated with most wasn’t what I wanted it to be – first pitch strikes. Happy with the fastball, happy with [Jesús Sucre], happy with the defense. Defense picked me up huge today. It’s a tough lineup so when you don’t have anything going and to get through six, you have to be happy with that, but still searching to get better, always.”

For the Rays' Mallex Smith had three hits, including a triple that hit on top of the fence.

“It’s only been three days so I have to keep it going,: Smith said, "but I have to make adjustments. It’s a game of adjustments.”

The Rays try to earn a split of their four games in today's game against the Mariners. Nathan Eovaldi pitches against James Paxton (5-1) at 1:10 p.m.

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