They have combined for victories before. Nothing new about that for Blake Snell and Luke Maile.
Of course, most of their wins have been in Durham.
Snell struck out nine – including five in a row at one point. For the year, he has 49 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings pitched. Snell is now 3-4 on the season.
“Blake was good today,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “His velo might have been up a tick and that might have caused some of the overthrown fastballs or breaking balls. But you can tell the curveball was a huge pitch today for him. Had a lot of swing-and-miss. Really strong outing by him, just kind ran out of pitches there at the end. But the guys came in and filled in really nice.”
Snell’s win was possible because of Maile, who entered the game with only two hits in his previous 24 at bats. Maile hit the first pitch he saw with two men out in the sixth to drive in Steven Souza and Kevin Kiermaier.
“The whole game I felt good. I felt really good with Luke behind the plate. We got in a rhythm really quick. I was trying to do too much for a little while, but having him behind the plate…he’s something else. … The guys behind me were playing really well (defensively), so it was fun.”
“I love (working with Maile). I’ve known him a long time. Him and me get on the same page pretty quick. … Especially today, I was throwing a bunch of balls in the dirt. I’ll go in the dirt the whole game, I know he’s going to block it.”
Together, the rookies kept Tampa Bay’s winning streak going. The Rays are now 42-61 on the season.
“It feels good to get back on a winning run here,” Cash said. “Being at home, finish off a sweep, we played really good baseball this weekend and it shows with the amount of wins we got. Lot of good things. Played good defense. We’re starting to see a trend, when you pitch well and play good defense you give yourself a chance to win consecutive ballgames.”
Tampa Bay had only six hits – two each by Souza and Corey Dickerson – but turned three double plays. Closer Alex Colome had his 25th save of the season. Colome is 25-for-26 on the season.
The Rays now play against Kansas City. Chris Archer pitches for Tampa Bay against Danny Duffy.