With wild card within reach, Rays hope to sweep Twins Wednesday behind Snell.
With a category five hurricane looming in the Atlantic, the Rays focus is firmly planted on the Minnesota Twins. As well it should be. With just 2.5 games separating Tampa Bay from their first playoff birth since 2013, a sweep of the Twins on Wednesday afternoon would go a long way.
LHP Blake Snell (3-6, 4.02) will take the hill as one of the hottest Rays starters of late. In his last three starts, Snell has a microscopic 0.87 ERA and a 1.91 ERA in his last five. Going all the way back over his last seven, he’s undefeated with a 3-0 record and 2.76 ERA. Maybe the most important improvement from Snell is his ability to go deeper into games. In five consecutive starts the 24-year old southpaw has gone six or more innings, the longest streak of his young career.
The Twins will send out 24-year old rookie RHP Aaron Slegers (0-0, 2.84). Wednesday will be just his second big league start. He’s coming off his debut on August 17 vs Cleveland. Slegers was impressive, limiting the division-leading Indians to just two runs on two hits in 6.1 innings.
Streaking Rays are streaking.
Lucas Duda hit his 27th home run in Tuesday night’s win, making it 16 consecutive games the Rays have hit a home run. The mark is the third longest streak in club history and one shy of the club record in a single season. During this streak, the club has scored 77 runs to go along with 31 long balls.
Arguably the best trade deadline pick up for the Rays is RHP Steve Cishek. Since coming to the Rays from Seattle on July 28th, Cishek has 18-consecutive scoreless appearances. This becomes the second-longest streak in club history behind RHP Joe Borowski (20) back in 2005.
Irma pushes off travel plans to Boston.
Normally the Rays would hit the skies after today’s matinee and head to Boston to begin a three-game series with the Red Sox on Friday. However, with Hurricane Irma looming in the Atlantic, the team will wait until tomorrow to fly out so they can be with their families to make preparations ahead of the monstrous storm.