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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 Cheap Josh Allen 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, 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 Isaac Yiadom Jersey Elite ,” 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, 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.
LOOSE LUMBER
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.
CLOSE CALL
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.
TRAINER’S ROOM
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 http://www.vikingsauthorizedshops.com/au...mes-jersey , 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.”
UP NEXT
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.
MINNEAPOLIS — A series that was solely in the Rockets’ favor in Houston took a turn in Game 3 in Minnesota.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni was his usual calm self after the 121-105 loss on Saturday, but he knows his team will have to match the Timberwolves‘ intensity in Game 4 on Monday night in Minnesota.
“Yeah, it’s disappointing,” D’Antoni said after Houston lost its first game of the series and just the third in 23 meetings against Minnesota. “But, hey guys, you have a playoff series and they’re a good team. They played better than we did today. We’ll make some adjustments. We’ll figure this out.
“On Monday, we’ll have to match their intensity. If we don’t, we’ll get beat again. It’s pretty simple.”
Driven by the Target Center crowd that hadn’t witnessed a home playoff game since 2004, the Timberwolves pulled to 2-1 in the seven-game series with the top-seeded Rockets. Jimmy Butler scored 28 points, Jeff Teague added 23 and Minnesota hit 15 3-pointers in Saturday’s win.
The Timberwolves Authentic Seth Jones Jersey , who hit the fewest 3s per game in the NBA during the regular season, matched Houston’s total. The Rockets led the league in 3s per game in the regular season.
“They’re a great team,” Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We know we’re going to have to play better on Monday. I think we’re capable of playing better. We’re learning more each day.
“We learn. We improve. Same thing, we know we can’t feel too good about ourselves. We have to get in tomorrow, study the film, get ready. We know Monday will be an intense game.”
The Timberwolves hope they’ve found a combination to be able to keep up with the Rockets. Minnesota’s defense, which was among the worst in the league during the regular season, has slowly come around and helped trigger a big second half on Saturday.
From Karl-Anthony Towns engaging defenders down low to power forward Taj Gibson defending James Harden one-on-one resulting in a poor shot attempt, the Timberwolves’ defense effort became contagious team-wide.
The Rockets shot 47.5 percent from the field in the second half but had seven turnovers and were just 6 of 19 (31.6 percent) from 3.
“We’re a young team in playoff experience, so we’re growing, getting better every game,” Teague said. “Tonight we took a big step. I think we picked up our intensity and played a lot harder, but it’s still a long way to go.”
Minnesota also got Towns more involved on the offensive end. His lack of shots has been a topic all series. The All-Star center had nine shots in each of the first two games of the series and scored a total of 13 points.
On Saturday, he had 18 points Authentic Marshall Newhouse Jersey, including 12 in the second half.
“I think it is a sense of patience,” Towns said. “First quarter, I don’t think I shot a shot. So it’s letting the game come to me naturally, not trying to rush and trying to find shots. Letting the shots find me and my teammates were amazing.”
Harden scored 29 points and Chris Paul had 17 points and six assists, but the Rockets now need to make an adjustment.
Houston wants to get back to its defensive approach and limit Minnesota as it did in the first two games of the series. The Timberwolves averaged 91.5 points per game in the first two games and shot just 38.8 percent from the field in Game 2.
“We knew that was going to be a lot more comfortable coming home,” Paul said. “They make a lot more 3s tonight, 15 for 27, and we got to be better defensively. We were just opening up the lane and letting Teague drive and all the other guys, so we know we got to be better.”
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