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Blake Snell added to a run of top-notch pitching by the Tampa Bay Rays
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January 9, 2019
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ST. PETERSBURG Fergie Jenkins Jersey , Fla. (AP) — The All-Star left-hander helped Tampa Bay match a team record with 27 consecutive shutout innings, and the Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Tuesday night.“This pitching staff, I think, is very, very talented,” Snell said. “I’m not surprised. Guys can pitch, they come in compete and work every day.”The scoreless stretch ended when Snell (15-5) allowed a fifth-inning solo homer to Ryan O’Hearn.Snell struck out 11 and gave up four hits in six innings. The left-hander has 13 straight home starts of allowing one earned run or fewer, which is longest stretch in the majors since 1913, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.“I like being at home, I don’t like going on planes or buses,” Snell said with a smile. “I don’t know what it is. I feel very comfortable here.”Tampa Bay has a 1.89 ERA over the last 11 games.“We’re doing it with a lot of young pitchers,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Blake did his thing. Another dominating performance. I like where Blake’s going.”Since returning from a stint on the disabled list for left shoulder fatigue Aug. 4th, Snell is 3-0 and has given up two earned runs over 20 innings in four starts.“He’s not an All-Star by accident http://www.chicagocubsteamshop…..dux-jersey ,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.O’Hearn has five homers in 14 career games for the Royals, who dropped to 50 games (38-88) under .500.Tampa Bay’s Tommy Pham had three hits, an RBI and a walk but left in the eighth after dislocating his right ring finger diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt. He’s day to day.“I thought I broke it,” Pham said. “My finger was pointed the other direction. Got lucky.”Willy Adames had three hits and put the Rays up 1-0 on a homer off an overhanging catwalk in the second that left fielder Alex Gordon nearly made a diving catch on. The effort would have been in vain if Gordon caught it because Tropicana Field ground rules state a ball hitting that catwalk is an automatic home run.Gordon was OK after going over the short wall down the left-field line trying to catch Brandon Lowe’s fifth-inning foul ball.Joey Wendle made it 3-0 with a two-run triple off Glenn Sparkman (0-2) during the fourth.Sparkman gave up three runs and seven hits over four innings in his second career start.Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his 17th save, working out of a two-on, one-out jam.TRAINER’S ROOMRoyals: Yost said LHP Danny Duffy, placed on the 10-day DL on Aug. 13th, is “pretty much on track” to start Thursday night. … RHP Ian Kennedy (left oblique strain) could start a minor league rehab assignment next week. … OF Jorge Bonifacio was a late scratch with lower back tightness.Rays: 3B Matt Duffy, hitting .202 over his previous 25 games, was rested. Duffy was limited to three minor league games in 2017 following Achilles tendon surgery. “We’re getting to the dog days of the season, that’s something I’ve got to recognize,” Cash said. … LHP Vidal Nuno (right hamstring) allowed three hits in three scoreless innings for Class A Charlotte.RARE COMPANYSnell joined Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (1968) as the only pitchers since 1920 with at least 160 strikeouts and fewer than 35 runs allowed through 24 starts, according to Stats LLC.UP NEXTRoyals RHP Jakob Junis (6-11) will face Rays reliever Ryne Stanek (1-3) in a bullpen game Wednesday night. Junis is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two appearances against Tampa Bay. Denis Poroy/Getty ImagesThe Cleveland Indians announced Thursday that they acquiredAll-Star closerBrad Handand pitcher Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Francisco Mejia.Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the deal.Hand has appeared in 41games this season and boasts a 3.17 FIP. His 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings are on pace to be a career high.Hand first became a full-time reliever in 2016 after the Padres claimed him off waivers from the Miami Marlins. The left-hander then enjoyed a career year Carlos Zambrano Jersey ,posting a 2.92 ERA and a 3.07 FIP, and averaging 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.Hand was even better in 2017 after replacing Fernando Rodney and Brandon Maurer as San Diego’s regular closer. He registered 21 saves and struck out an average of 11.8 batters, while his ERA and FIP improved to2.16 and 3.03, respectively.The Padres rewarded Hand with a three-year extension worth $19.7 million. The contract includes a $10 million club option for 2021.Elite closers are generally luxuries for losing teams rather than necessities, but Hand’s contract provided the Padres with at least one reason to consider keeping him.By giving Eric Hosmer an eight-year, $144 million deal this past offseason, the franchise indicated it wants to be a winner in the near future.By 2021, San Diego may have climbed toward playoff contention, at which point having somebody such as Hand would be much more important.With that said, Hand’s contract also meant the Padres could demand even more in a trade. He’s under team control for up to three more years, so San Diego didn’t have to settle for a meager return because it risked losing him for nothing in the offseason.General manager A.J. Preller has done well to rebuild the Padres’ farm system after they tried to fast-track their journey back to the playoffs in 2015. Much as he did with Craig Kimbrel, Drew Pomeranz and James Shields, Preller flipped Hand for younger players who further strengthen one of MLB’s best farm systems.Following the 2018 MLB draft http://www.chicagocubsteamshop…..ace-jersey , Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter placed the Padres third behind the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox in his farm system rankings. Although San Diego is headed for an eighth straight losing season, the team’s outlook is undeniably bright.Although their bullpen was one of their biggest strengths last season, it is now the Indians’ biggest Achilles’ heel. Andrew Miller is on the DL, and closer Cody Allen currently has a 4.66 ERA.Hand fills a huge need, and Cimber should contribute as well since he has a 3.17 ERA in 41 appearances this season.The 22-year-old Mejia has appeared in just one MLB game this season, but he is a highly touted prospect due to his hitting ability.In 79 games at the Triple-A level, Mejia is hitting .279 with seven home runs and 45 RBI this season.For the Indians, acquiring Hand is a win-now move, but his contract ensures Cleveland has some time to show this trade was worth it. Should the team fall short of its goal in 2018, Hand will be around for 2019, 2020 and potentially 2021.Cleveland paid a steep price for Hand, but there are multiple avenues through which this can be a worthwhile venture. Stats are courtesy of FanGraphs
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