Snell Not Sharp As Rays Fall To Pirates

PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) -- Blake Snell allowed a pair of two-run homers, and Jose Osuna broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth with a fielder's choice as the Tampa Bay Rays fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 Monday at Charlotte Sports Park.

Tampa Bay manufactured the first run of the game in the bottom of the first, as Kevin Kiermaier reached on an infield hit in the bottom of the first, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Brad Miller.

Pittsburgh countered in the top of the fourth off Snell, who hit David Freese with a pitch before Osuna teed off for a two-run HR to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

Jordy Mercer piled on Snell in the fifth, following an Adam Frazier single by hitting a two-run shot of his own, extending the Pittsburgh advantage 4-1.

Tampa Bay got the deficit back to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Kiermaier, scoring Jesus Sucre, and tied the game in the seventh thanks to back-to-back two-out RBI doubles by Mallex Smith and Patrick Leonard.

However, David Carpenter couldn't keep the game tied.  He allowed singles in the top of the eighth to Josh Bell and Jason Rogers before Osuna's fielder's choice allowed Josh Bell to score the eventual winning run.

Between Snell and Carpenter's performances, the Rays got a perfect combined inning from Xavier Cedeno and Diego Moreno, and a scoreless inning from Shawn Tolleson.  Neil Wagner also pitched a scoreless ninth.

The two teams will head to Bradenton Tuesday to finish this home-and-home matchup.  Alex Cobb will get the start, taking on Chad Kuhl, with first pitch scheduled from LECOM Park (formerly McKechnie Field) at 1:05.

NOTES: On the back fields of Port Charlotte Monday, starter Jake Odorizzi threw six innings of three-hit baseball, allowing a single run and striking out seven Minnesota Twins minor-leaguers.  He threw 68 pitches, 49 for strikes.

Listen to comments from manager Kevin Cash and pitcher Blake Snell on today's game, and pitcher Jake Odorizzi on his work in the minor-league game.

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