In a stellar effort from Blake Snell, the relief staff, and the offense, the Rays won their 87th game of the season, and Snell got to 21 wins in his hunt for Cy Young glory.
It was a slow start for all involved, with the first run coming for the Rays in the fourth inning off a Joey Wendle double to score Tommy Pham. Let’s talk about Pham for a second while we’re here, because there wasn’t a lot of flash in his performance today, but he played a vital role in the Rays success, with two walks and a hit. In fact, Pham represented the first two men on base for the Rays for the afternoon.
The second run came in the fifth on a C.J. Cron ground rule double that once again scored Pham. Now, let’s turn our attention to Cron, because in addition to the RBI, he also walloped a solo shot home run in the left, helping give the Rays a little more breathing room to protect Snell’s win.
Snell had a heck of a day, of course, and made it look easy the whole way through. He threw exactly 100 pitches over 6.2 innings and gave up three hits, no runs, two walks (back to back) and a whopping 11 strikeouts. More of the solid work we expect from the Rays ace.
A Brandon Lowe home run in the eighth scored himself and Wendle (himself the owner of a hit and two walks for the day), giving the Rays five runs, which would prove very helpful in the bottom of the inning.
Things got a bit rocky in the eighth as Andrew Kittredge came on to replace Chaz Roe. Kittredge, in a mere 10 pitches, managed to give up two runs on three hits, and was quickly pulled for Ryne Stanek with the Rays lead still intact. He quickly pitched into an infield pop up to end the inning.
Sergio Romo came on in the bottom of the ninth to get the final outs, and though there were a couple loud-sounding hits, only two Jays got on base, which is plenty enough to make me nervous. The Rays got out of it alive and with the lead, and collects his 21st win of the season, with a 1.90 overall ERA.