Snell Record-Setting Gem Gives Rays Third Straight Win


ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- Blake Snell earned his 15th win of the season, while Joey Wendle's two-run triple proved to be the difference, as the Tampa Bay Rays won their third straight contest defeating the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Tuesday at Tropicana Field.

Snell (15-5) worked around a leadoff double in the first by Whit Merrifield, and got Kansas City to go in order in the second before the Rays would get on the scoreboard.  That came when Wlly Adames blasted a Glenn Sparkman pitch off the C-ring catwalk in left for his seventh home run of the season.

The Rays added to their lead in the fourth, as Michael Perez started with a one-out single and Tommy Pham drew a walk two batters later, leading to Wendle tripling into the home bullpen to plate both runners for a 3-0 advantage.

The Royals finally broke through on Snell in the fifth, as Seth O'Hearn homered to left-center off Snell, snapping a franchise record-tying 27 consecutive scoreless innings.

However, the left-hander would limit the damage to just the single run, and finished six complete Tuesday, allowing four hits and a walk total and striking out 11.  Snell established a new Major League record for consecutive home starts allowing one earned run or fewer (13), and joined Bob Gibson in 1968 as the only pitchers to have struck out 160 or more batters and allow 35 or fewer runs through the first 24 starts of the season.

Back-to-back doubles by Mallex Smith and Pham set the score in the bottom of the sixth at 4-1.

The one negative to Tuesday's victory was that Pham dislocated his right ring finger diving back to first base on a pickoff play.  He would leave the game to have it popped back in to place and is listed as day-to-day.

After Snell finished off the sixth, Adam Kolarek worked a scoreless seventh, Chaz Roe put up a zero in the eighth, and Sergio Romo allowed the tying run to come to the plate in the ninth, but struck out O'Hearn and Adalberto Mondesi to record his 17th save.

The win puts Tampa Bay back to a season-best four games over .500.

WEDNESDAY'S MATCHUP

Tampa Bay Rays (65-61) vs. Kansas City Royals (38-88), 7:10 p.m. first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.

Rays starter - RHP Ryne Stanek (1-3, 2.68 ERA)

Royals starter - RHP Jakob Junis (6-11, 4.76 ERA)


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