ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- Blake Snell said after his Opening Day loss he was looking to be better at sequencing for his next start. You could say Tuesday was an improvement.
The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner threw seven innings of two-hit baseball, striking out a career-high tying 13, while Guillermo Heredia's two-run single keyed a three-run first inning, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to their fifth consecutive win a 4-0 shutout of the Colorado Rockies Tuesday at Tropciana Field.
Tampa Bay jumped on Rockies starter Kyle Freeland in the first, as Yandy Diaz started the game with a walk. Tommy Pham struck out, but Daniel Robertson moved Diaz up a base with a single, and both runners took another base on a wild pitch. Avisail Garcia walked to load the bases and the Rays got their first run as Chris Ianetta did not tag the plate on a grounder by Mike Zunino for an error. Guillermo Heredia followed with a two-run single that gave Tampa Bay all the insurance they'd need.
Snell (1-1) made sure that his team needed nothing else Tuesday, going perfect through the first four innings including striking out the side in the third.
Colorado's first hit came when Trevor Story led off the top of the fifth with a base hit to right, though he was picked off trying to steal second. Story also reached on an infield single in the seventh for the Rockies' other hit, and Chris Ianetta drew a one-out walk in the sixth, the only other runners off Snell.
Tampa Bay added a fourth run in the home half of the sixth, as Kevin Kiermaier doubled with two outs off Carlos Estevez, and Christian Arroyo singled him home.
Wilmer Font worked two innings of hitless relief, walking one to end the game.
Tampa Bay is now 5-1 to start the season for the first time in franchise history, and can finish off a three game sweep of the Rockies with a win in Wednesday's finale.
Tampa Bay Rays (5-1) vs. Colorado Rockies (2-4), 1:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at noon.
Rays starter: RHP Charlie Morton (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
Phillies starter: RHP German Marquez (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
FRIDAY: Rays at San Francisco Giants, 4:35 pm first pitch
SATURDAY: Rays at San Francisco Giants, 4:05 pm first pitch
SUNDAY: Rays at San Francisco Giants, 4:05 pm first pitch
Photo: Getty Images