ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Blake Snell struck out 12 over six innings for just his second win in 10 starts and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Sunday.
Snell (5-7) gave up three hits during an 80-pitch outing. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner had an 11.94 ERA (17 1/3 innings, 23 earned runs) in five previous starts this month.
Tommy Pham homered for the Rays, who won consecutive games for the first time since June 9-10. The first AL wild card leaders went 13-16 in June.
Four Tampa Bay relievers completed a four-hitter.
Texas got a two-run homer from Joey Gallo.
After Kevin Kiermaier had an RBI single and Willy Adames added a run-scoring single off Jesse Chavez (3-3) the fourth, Pham’s fifth-inning solo shot made it 4-2.
Chavez allowed four runs and five hits in six innings.
Kiermaier had an RBI triple in a two-run eighth.
Gallo’s two-run homer in the fourth off Snell got stuck on the “D-Ring” catwalk, which is approximately 70-feet above the right-field seats.
The only other ball remaining on that catwalk was hit by Boston’s David Ortiz on Sept. 17, 2008.
Gallo had the only Texas hit through three innings, a leadoff bunt single in the second against a shift that had four outfielders and three infielders on the first-base side of second.
He was thrown out on another bunt attempt in the seventh with a runner on first and no outs, and Texas trailing 4-2.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was ejected by plate umpire Bruce Dreckman in the second for arguing after Avisail Garcia took a called third strike.
Rangers now have a 46-38 record and will take on the Los Angeles Angels tomorrow evening at 7:05 p.m.