Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell and Wilson Ramos are hoping they both get selected to the American League All-Star team. Saturday afternoon’s performance at Citi Field may have strengthened the batterymates’ chances.
Snell blanked the Mets over a career-high-tying 7 1/3 innings [url=http://www.vikingscheapshops.com]Vikings Cheap Jerseys[/url] , Ramos drove in a pair of runs and the Rays downed New York 3-0 on Saturday.
”I’d be pumped,” Snell said about the possibility of playing in the Midsummer Classic. ”I’d be stoked.”
A late afternoon start under clear blue skies featured two young left-handers at the top of their game in recent weeks, both successfully dodging a slew of baserunners early.
Ranked among the league leaders in several categories, the 25-year-old Snell was as advertised- keeping the Mets off the board despite allowing the leadoff runner to reach in six out of eight frames including each of the first four.
Snell (12-4) struck out nine, scattering six hits and three walks while lowering his AL-leading ERA to 2.09.
”Blake has been tremendous for us. He’s been the workhorse.” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”We’re talking about a potential All-Star candidate.”
The lanky lefty has yielded two runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts and is 4-0 with an 0.63 ERA over his last four outings, two against the Astros.
”He deserves to be in the All-Star Game because he’s had an awesome year,” Ramos said of the Rays starter. ”There’s nothing better than being with your teammates in the All-Star Game.”
The feeling is mutual.
”He needs to go,” Snell said, rallying for his backstop. ”It would be even cooler if I did go and pitch to him. I think that would be special for the both of us.”
After being held scoreless in 34 of their previous 36 innings, Tampa Bay finally broke through in the fifth. Matt Duffy lined a leadoff double down the right-field line, the fourth two-bagger surrendered by Mets starter Steven Matz to that point, advancing to third on a groundout.
Ramos followed with a sharp grounder to shortstop. A charging Amed Rosario booted the ball before recovering and throwing to first for the out. With Duffy running on contact, Rosario likely would have cut down the run at home had he fielded the ball cleanly. Instead, the Rays took a 1-0 lead.
”He just came in on it hard,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”He looked up just to see where the runner was and it hit off his heel.”
Matz (4-6) continued his recent surge, charged with one run on five hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings- striking out five. The Long Island native has allowed four earned runs across his last three starts, a span of 18 2/3 innings.
He escaped trouble early by getting Adeiny Hechavarria to fly out, ending a bases-loaded threat in the first. The Rays left seven men on in the first four innings and were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position during that stretch.
”I get in situations throughout the game where I can crumble,” Matz said. ”But I think just realizing what I’ve got to do out there, and just the task at hand, has really helped.”
Tampa Bay was 2 for 25 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series, stranding a total of 18.
The Rays added some insurance in the eighth on a bloop single by former Met Carlos Gomez, scoring Daniel Robertson. Ramos singled home a run in the ninth.
Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 13 chances.
Neither Snell nor Matz had faced the opposing team before.
Jose Bautista was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts after hitting a game-ending grand slam in the series opener Friday night.
Both starting third basemen lost the grip on their bats an inning apart. Todd Frazier swung at a fastball in the bottom of the fourth [url=http://www.thebengalsfootballauthentic.com/sam-hubbard-jersey-authentic]Youth Sam Hubbard Jersey[/url] , fouling it off and also sending his bat deep into foul territory down the third base line. Duffy had a similar experience in the fifth, letting go of his lumber and causing it to fly towards the Rays’ on-deck circle.
The Rays had a brief scare in the second when Snell’s pitching hand was grazed by a 92-mph sinker. The southpaw took his base and did not appear to be in pain.
”I’m happy that it didn’t really hit me hard,” Snell said.
Rays: Rookie infielder Willy Adames was scratched from the starting lineup. ”He’s just under the weather,” Cash said. ”He was battling a bug last night and I think he woke up this morning a little bit worse.” … RHP Jake Faria (strained left oblique) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with high-A Charlotte Saturday night. … INF Christian Arroyo (strained left oblique) could play for Charlotte on Monday but the club is not fully committed to that plan, according to Cash.
Mets: LF Yoenis Cespedes (right hip) is continuing baseball activities including running straight sprints, although he has yet to begin turning the bases to simulate a double. ”Trying to figure out that schedule as we go along,” said Callaway about when his club’s top slugger might play in a rehab game. ”All that’s going to be based on how he bounces back day-to-day.”
Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-3, 3.92 ERA) pitches in the rubber game on Sunday. He has allowed just two runs over his last two starts, a span of twelve innings in which he fanned 14 batters.
Mets: RHP Chris Flexen (0-1, 10.80 ERA in 3 relief appearances) will make his first start of the season.
During a horrid stretch in which the Baltimore Orioles keep finding ways to lose, J.T. Realmuto did his part to extend the downward spiral.
Realmuto homered twice and had four RBIs off Alex Cobb, and the Miami Marlins beat the skidding Orioles 5-4 on Saturday.
Realmuto singled in a run in the first inning, hit a two-run shot in the third and led off the sixth with his ninth home run on a 3-1 pitch. It was his fourth career multihomer game, the second this season.
Baltimore has lost nine straight, its longest skid since an identical run in July 2011. The Orioles tied a club record with their 11th consecutive home loss and fell to 19-50 overall, the worst record in the majors.
”Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”They step on your neck when you’re down, and we did the same to other clubs. We’ve got to figure out a way to get back into that mode. We’ve just had a little trouble keeping the ball in the park.”
On Friday night, Baltimore managed only three hits in a 2-0 loss. In this one, the lowest-scoring team in the American League wasted 11 hits, a home run by Jonathan Schoop and two RBIs by Manny Machado .
Cobb could only blame himself for letting Realmuto outdo the Baltimore offense.
”When you have a good hitter up there, you can’t fall behind and then give them a cookie down the middle,” Cobb lamented. ”It’s frustrating that it was one guy but it was more frustrating that I let him win the at-bats before he actually hit the home run.”
Former Oriole Wei-Yin Chen (2-3) limited Baltimore to three runs over six innings to earn his first victory since April 28.
Drew Steckenrider worked the ninth for his first save [url=http://www.thebengalsfootballauthentic.com/malik-jefferson-jersey-authentic]Youth Malik Jefferson Jersey[/url] , putting Miami in position to complete its initial series sweep of the season on Sunday.
The Marlins have won five of six to put some pressure on fourth-place New York in the NL East.
”We’ve got a lot of young guys on this team who are gaining a lot of momentum, getting a lot of confidence,” Realmuto said. They’re starting to swing the bats really well. We’ve got young guys producing for us every night. When that happens, you just gain confidence, and over a period of time you get better and better.”
Cobb (2-9) allowed five runs on seven hits over seven innings. He’s given up a total of 14 runs in his last two starts.
”Just a few fastballs that I left over the middle of the plate that didn’t come back that really ended up being the difference-maker,” Cobb said.
Miami hit leadoff doubles in the first and second innings, with both runners coming around to score. Realmuto followed a walk with a home run in the third to make it 4-0.
”It was one of those games that starts so good,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”First couple innings are kind of what you’re looking for from your club.”
In the Baltimore third, Machado hit a two-out, two-run single to increase his RBI total to 52.
Schoop went deep in the sixth and an RBI single by Danny Valencia got Baltimore to 5-4 in the seventh.
Baltimore’s Adam Jones has hit safely in all eight interleague games (13 for 33, .394). … Realmuto has a .350 batting average in 31 career road interleague games. … Baltimore is 2-6 vs. the NL, Miami is 3-3 vs. the AL.
Marlins: INF Miguel Rojas was rested, one day after being bruised by a pitch that hit his left hand. ”Felt OK, actually looked OK, but wasn’t able to put a lot of pressure on that bottom hand,” Mattingly said, adding, ”He’ll probably be in there tomorrow.”
Orioles: LHP Richard Bleier will have season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair his left shoulder. It’s a Grade 3 latissimus tear. … 3B Tim Beckham (groin) was slated to be the DH for Double-A Bowie in the second game of his rehab assignment. … OF Colby Rasmus (hip) is expected to come off the DL next week.
Marlins: Rookie Trevor Richards (1-3, 4.41 ERA) makes his eighth career start in the series finale. The right-hander earned his first big league win on Tuesday against San Francisco.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (4-7. 3.66) seeks his fifth win, which would account for one-quarter of the team’s victories this season.