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Rays keep rolling, send Red Sox packing after sweep

Photo by Wayne Masut

Baseball is a unique and exciting game. On Sunday afternoon, Tropicana Field was filled with fans rooting for the home team, the road team, but more than anything exciting baseball.

The home fans got what they wanted.

For the first time all season, the Boston Red Sox were swept by an opponent. After falling to the Rays on Friday and Saturday, Blake Snell, continuing his Cy-Young worthy season, handled the Red Sox en route to a 9-1 victory — his 16th of the season.

Rays Batter Former Teammate Early

Nathan Eovaldi was traded from Tampa Bay to Boston on July 25. In exchange, the Rays received Jalen Beeks — who recorded the win on Friday night. On Sunday, it was Eovaldi who attempted to defeat his former team.

The Rays got the better of Eovaldi early — when second baseman Joey Wendle led off by doubling down the left-field line. Starting for Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt was unable to make a play on the opposite-field hit. After a single by Matt Duffy, designated hitter Ji-Man Choi drove in Tampa Bay’s first run of the game. Boston found themselves in a 2-0 hole after Jake Bauers‘ sac-fly reached the warning-track in right field.

Tampa Bay continued to pepper hits off of their former mate in the third inning. After a Tommy Pham single made it 3-0 home team, Kevin Kiermaier roped a triple down the line in left, scoring Choo and Kiermaier. In his fourth and final inning of work, Eovaldi surrendered another run, giving Snell a six-run cushion.

Same Snell Different Day

After hinting at it earlier this season, it’s now a common discussion not just in the Bay Area, but around the country — Snell could win the Cy Young Award this year.

Entering Sunday, in his three starts against Boston (2-0; 0.95) this year, Snell has allowed just two runs over 19 innings. His season stats are equally impressive. In 145 innings pitched, the left-hander has a 2.05 ERA which is good for 3rd in MLB.

While his 2.91 ERA and 95 strikeouts on the road this season are good, his numbers at home are mind-blowingly impressive. After another dominant performance against the best team in baseball, Snell now sports a 1.06 ERA in 67.2 innings. He’s punched-out 73 batters and surrendered just eight earned runs — one of which came on Sunday.

Having gained ground in the American League standings over the seven-game streak, Snell thinks the Rays have a chance at the playoffs.

“Keep talking about Oakland and Seattle,” he joked after the game. “I could see us making a playoff push.”

Rays Notes

The club has won eight consecutive games and have allowed fewer than three runs in each contest. Their 41-9 this season when recording double-digit hits —  they totaled 12 on Sunday.

After going 3-for-4, Duffy now has multiple hits in four of his last five games. Bauers and Willy Adames were the only players to be held without a hit.

Up Next

The Rays head to Atlanta for a two-game series. Julio Teheran goes for the Braves on Tuesday, Sean Newcomb toes the rubber on Wednesday. Ryne Stanek will start for Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

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