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ARLINGTON , Texas (AP) — For Blake Snell, all the setbacks set up all these victories.Snell
became the major leagues’ first 20-game winner in two years, helping pitch the
Tampa Bay Rays past the Texas Rangers 4-0 Tuesday night.Snell (20-5) threw
one-hit ball for five innings and tied the Tampa Bay record for victories in a
season. David Price also won 20 in his Cy Young Award season of 2012.Little more
than a year ago, things were much different.Snell, Tampa Bay’s 2011 first-round
draft pick, was demoted to Triple-A Durham during last season with a 6-14 career
record. Since returning to the Rays on Aug. 8, he’s 25-6.“Knowing what it’s like
to struggle, that helps me a lot,” Snell said. “It’s always in the back of my
head.”Snell won his eighth straight start. The 25-year-old lefty struck out five
to reach 200 this year, walked two and threw 92 pitches, exiting with a 1.97
ERA.No one in the big leagues won more than 18 games last season. Rick Porcello
won 22 in 2016, with Max Scherzer and J.A. Happ each winning 20.Tampa Bay has
won four straight and 13 of 16 this month in a last-ditch attempt to wrest the
AL second wild-card playoff berth from Oakland. The Rays trail the A’s by 5 ½
games.“It feels good being counted on,” Snell said, “because I know what it’s
like to not be counted on.”“We’ve just been playing good team baseball when I
pitch. The guys are helping me swinging it , playing defense, and I’ve been doing well as well,” he said.Manager Kevin Cash
didn’t even pretend he knew Snell would win 20 games or strike out 200 this
season.“No,” Cash said. “I think Blake deserves the bulk of the credit, but
there’s been a lot of people in our player development system, (coaches) Kyle
Snyder and Stan (Boroski), a lot of work has gone in. And I think our catchers
deserve a lot of credit.”The Rays scored three times in the fourth against
Yovani Gallardo (8-6). Willie Adames hit a two-run homer and Joey Wendle had an
RBI double.Snell remained the AL leader in wins over Cleveland’s Corey Kluber,
who won his 19th on Tuesday night.Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos had the only
hit against Snell, a second-inning single.“His fastball command, it was not
great today,” Chirinos said. “I was able to hit the breaking ball my first
at-bat. After that, I thought he was going to throw me more fastballs, but he
stuck with the same plan — changeup, changeup , changeup.”Three Rays relievers completed the four-hit shutout with four
scoreless innings.Wendle tied a career high with four hits, including two
doubles.TRAINER’S ROOMRays: C Jesus Sucre fouled a pitch off the top of his left
foot. He was hobbling after the game, but X-rays were negative.Rangers: OF Joey
Gallo missed his second game since fouling a ball off his right little toe over
the weekend in San Diego. Manager Jeff Banister said, “I don’t foresee it
lingering.”GOOSE EGGSThe Rangers were not shut out their first 75 home games
through Sunday. Now Texas has been shut out on a total of only six hits in the
first two games of this three-game series.They hadn’t been shut out back-to-back
on consecutive nights at home since Detroit blanked Texas Aug. 13-14,
2016.WELCOME BACKThe crowd cheered ex-Ranger Carlos Gomez when, standing at the
dugout railing, he made a one-handed grab of a one-hop foul ball by Sucre.UP
NEXTRays: Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.24) will start as the opener for the fifth time
in 11 days.Rangers: LHP Yohander Mendez (2-1, 3.86) will start the final game in
the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon. BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore
Orioles trudged off the field following a historic loss, still not absorbing
that they are part of one of the worst teams in franchise history.The Orioles
lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Tuesday. It was the team’s 108th loss, the
most in a season since arriving in Baltimore in 1954.“You’re either playing in
October or you’re not,” manager Buck Showalter said. “But these types of things
make people think how far away you are. Like I said before, those things can
change quickly. A lot of things can get better.”The 1988 Orioles opened the
season 0-21 and held the previous record for losses with a 54-107 finish. The
overall franchise record for defeats is 111 set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns — a
mark that could also be eclipsed by this year’s team.The Orioles led 4-2 in the
seventh before a throwing error by third baseman Steve Wilkerson on a grounder
by Teoscar Hernández allowed two runs to score. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. followed
with a two-RBI single off reliever Paul Fry that that provided the margin of
victory.Gurriel has reached base safely in 34 of his last 38 starts, batting
.316 in that stretch.“I’ve noticed that (pitchers) changed a little
bit Cheslor Cuthbert Jersey , the way they approach me, and they are a little bit more careful,” Gurriel said through an interpreter. “But I have to do the
same thing on my side to make adjustments. But I hit the ball hard lately, as
well. I knew that was going to happen.”Dylan Bundy (8-15) started strong for the
Orioles before being lifted with two outs in the seventh when the game
unraveled. He was charged with five runs (two earned) and seven hits and six
strikeouts. Bundy did not allow a home run for the first time since June 23, a
span of 13 consecutive starts.“The season ain’t over yet, so I haven’t really
wrapped my head around it yet,” Bundy said about the 108 losses. “I haven’t
really thought about it too much. Just try to show up to work every day and get
better.”Reliever Jake Petricka (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings. Tyler
Clippard held the Orioles down in the eighth, setting up Ken Giles to earn his
23rd save.“Sometimes you win ugly, sometimes you win pretty,” Toronto manager
John Gibbons said.Cedric Mullins led off the first inning with his fourth home
run.The Orioles extended the lead to 4-0 off Aaron Sanchez in the fourth. Trey
Mancini led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Breyvic Valera.
Mancini was initially called out but a review showed he touched the plate before
catcher Reese McGuire applied the tag. DJ Stewart followed with his first career
single and Chris Davis scored on a throwing error by right fielder Billy
McKinney. Stewart scored on a throwing error by Sanchez.“You run through things
many times in your head about how you think it’s going to go, but that’s the
great thing about this game,” Stewart said about his first hit. “You never know
what it will bring you and I’m just happy I got it done.”The Blue Jays got on
the board in the fifth on an RBI single by Dwight Smith Jr. A fielder’s choice
by Justin Smoak an inning later cut the margin to 4-2.ANOTHER FIRST FOR
ORIOLESThe Orioles players and coaches wore specially designed jerseys and
became the first American pro team to wear jerseys with Braille lettering.
Tuesday was National Federation of the Blind Night at Oriole Park, in
recognition of the team moving its headquarters to Baltimore 40 years
ago.DOMINANCEThe Blue Jays have struggled, but more than 20 percent of their
wins have come against Baltimore Brian Flynn Jersey , going 14-4. Toronto can complete a three-game sweep Wednesday.TRAINER’S ROOMOrioles: RHP Alex Cobb (blister) threw off a mound, but
there is no timetable for his return. RHP Andrew Cashner is making progress with
his injured knee, but manager Buck Showalter was uncertain if he will be pitch
again this season. “Obviously, they’re both going to be with us next year and
that will take precedent, to make sure that it’s in the best interest of their
health,” Showalter said. . Rookie RHP Luis Ortiz (hamstring) will not pitch over
the final two weeks.UP NEXTBlue Jays: Marco Estrada (7-12, 5.75 ERA) was moved
up a day after throwing only 55 pitches in his last outing against the Yankees,
allowing eight runs and six hits.Orioles: Jimmy Yacabonis (0-2, 7.22 ERA) will
make his fifth start of the season.
Posted 10 Jan 2019

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