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 Jeremy Kerley Color Rush Jersey , 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 Johnny Townsend Color Rush Jersey , 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 Tremaine Edmunds Color Rush Jersey , 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, 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.
With their feet firmly on the gas pedal http://www.chargersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-jones-jersey , the Philadelphia 76ers head into their final game of the season riding their biggest winning streak in team history.
The only thing standing between the 76ers and the all-important No. 3 seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoff race: The Milwaukee Bucks, who travel to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center for a game Wednesday.
With a win or a Cleveland loss to New York on Wednesday, the 76ers lock up the third spot. With a loss and a Cavaliers win, Philadelphia slips to the fourth spot, which means a probable second-round matchup with top-seed Toronto.
And the Sixers have done all this without Joel Embiid for the last two weeks, after their center went down with an orbital bone fracture, which may keep him out for the first games of the playoffs.
“We really haven’t blinked,” 76ers coach Brett Brown told Yahoo Sports. “I feel like the confidence I had was born out of facts and stats and certainly gut feel. The needle is moving a direction that sort of makes you feel good about the underbelly of the program.”
The 76ers enter the matchup riding a 15-game winning streak after a 121-113 victory at Atlanta on Tuesday. J.J. Redick had 28 points, and Ersan Ilyasova had 26 and Marco Belinelli had 20 points off the bench against the Hawks.
Ben Simmons, who is averaging nearly a triple-double since the beginning of March, had 14 points http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-preston-brown-jersey , 10 rebounds and six assists Tuesday, and said he knows the importance of the big matchup.
“Especially because it’s the last regular-season game,” Simmons said. “For me, I want to come out and make a statement that we are ready. Obviously we’re without (Joel Embiid) again, but we still have a great team.”
It’s not as if the Bucks have nothing to play for, however.
With a win or a Miami Heat loss to the Raptors on Wednesday, the Bucks can lock up the No. 6 seed and a first-round matchup with, yes, the 76ers. Ordinarily, that might be an obvious plus.
But with the second-seeded Boston Celtics facing myriad injuries, including Kyrie Irving’s season-ending knee surgery http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-d.j.-fluker-jersey , a lower seed may prove more beneficial.
“I’m not going to lose any sleep because, like I said, we put ourselves in a position to where we’re in a pretty good position to determine where we want to be if that’s what we want to do,” Bucks center John Henson told reporters. “But we want to be the highest seed possible. That’s the goal.”
The Bucks meet the 76ers with a two-game winning streak and wins in three of four, with a surprising loss to Brooklyn on Thursday. Milwaukee defeated the Orlando Magic 102-86 on Monday. The Bucks outscored Orlando 57-44 in the second half, with Giannis Antetokounmpo out (ankle). His status is questionable for Wednesday.
“We definitely know we can’t win the whole thing without (Antetokounmpo),” Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe told reporters. “But at the same time, we’ve got a lot of confident guys in the room,” Bledsoe said. “We’re trying to get everybody on the same page because we’re going to need everybody.”
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