Snell dominates his former team, Padres beat Rays 2-0

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Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In his first start against his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays, since being traded in late December of 2020, Blake Snell looked dominant.

Snell followed up his previous start in Colorado in which he went seven innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out 12 by somehow coming close or exceeding what he did against the Rockies. Against Tampa Bay on Saturday evening, Snell went six scoreless innings while allowing only two hits and striking out 12 again.

This amazing two-game streak for Snell gives him 24 strikeouts while walking only three and allowing only five base hits in his last 13 innings pitched.

Snell and Rays’ starter Zach Eflin were in a pitcher’s duel for most of the game, with both pitchers only allowing five hits combined. Fortunately for San Diego, they were able to manufacture some runs with a bit of small ball in the bottom of the fifth.

Ha-Seong Kim started the inning off with a bunt base hit, followed by another bunt base hit by Trent Grisham to put runners on first and second with no one out. Then came up Fernando Tatis Jr., who surprised the sellout crowd the 27th of the season at Petco Park by sacrificing himself to move Kim and Grisham over.

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Juan Soto followed that up with a line drive to center field that scored Kim and moved Grisham to third. Then Manny Machado followed up with a ground ball to third that the Rays’ third baseman juggled, allowing the second run to score.

While it wasn’t flashy or powerful, the Padres were able to do what they really haven’t done much all year, which is manufacture runs on a day in which they couldn’t get the bats going.

Luckily for the Padres, San Diego’s pitching was untouchable on Saturday, striking out 17 Rays and allowing only three hits. Padres’ pitching didn’t allow a ball to leave the infield after the third inning.

In the end, the Padres’ bullpen was as dominant as Snell was, and the Padres defeated Tampa Bay 2-0 to tie the series at one and give the Padres six wins in their last nine games.

The Padres and Rays will go at it on Sunday afternoon for a chance to take the series with Joe Musgrove on the mound for San Diego.

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