ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Blake Snell added to a run of top-notch pitching by the Tampa Bay Rays.
The All-Star left-hander helped Tampa Bay match a team record with 27 consecutive shutout innings, and the Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Tuesday night.
"This pitching staff, I think, is very, very talented," Snell said. "I'm not surprised. Guys can pitch, they come in compete and work every day."
The scoreless stretch ended when Snell (15-5) allowed a fifth-inning solo homer to Ryan O'Hearn.
Snell struck out 11 and gave up four hits in six innings. The left-hander has 13 straight home starts of allowing one earned run or fewer, which is longest stretch in the majors since 1913, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"I like being at home, I don't like going on planes or buses," Snell said with a smile. "I don't know what it is. I feel very comfortable here."
Tampa Bay has a 1.89 ERA over the last 11 games.
"We're doing it with a lot of young pitchers," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Blake did his thing. Another dominating performance. I like where Blake's going."
Since returning from a stint on the disabled list for left shoulder fatigue Aug. 4th, Snell is 3-0 and has given up two earned runs over 20 innings in four starts.
"He's not an All-Star by accident," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
O'Hearn has five homers in 14 career games for the Royals, who dropped to 50 games (38-88) under .500.
Tampa Bay's Tommy Pham had three hits, an RBI and a walk but left in the eighth after dislocating his right ring finger diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt. He's day to day.
"I thought I broke it," Pham said. "My finger was pointed the other direction. Got lucky."
Willy Adames had three hits and put the Rays up 1-0 on a homer off an overhanging catwalk in the second that left fielder Alex Gordon nearly made a diving catch on. The effort would have been in vain if Gordon caught it because Tropicana Field ground rules state a ball hitting that catwalk is an automatic home run.
Gordon was OK after going over the short wall down the left-field line trying to catch Brandon Lowe's fifth-inning foul ball.
Joey Wendle made it 3-0 with a two-run triple off Glenn Sparkman (0-2) during the fourth.
Sparkman gave up three runs and seven hits over four innings in his second career start.
Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his 17th save, working out of a two-on, one-out jam.
Royals: Yost said LHP Danny Duffy, placed on the 10-day DL on Aug. 13th, is "pretty much on track" to start Thursday night. ... RHP Ian Kennedy (left oblique strain) could start a minor league rehab assignment next week. ... OF Jorge Bonifacio was a late scratch with lower back tightness.
Rays: 3B Matt Duffy, hitting .202 over his previous 25 games, was rested. Duffy was limited to three minor league games in 2017 following Achilles tendon surgery. "We're getting to the dog days of the season, that's something I've got to recognize," Cash said. ... LHP Vidal Nuno (right hamstring) allowed three hits in three scoreless innings for Class A Charlotte.
Snell joined Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (1968) as the only pitchers since 1920 with at least 160 strikeouts and fewer than 35 runs allowed through 24 starts, according to Stats LLC.
Royals RHP Jakob Junis (6-11) will face Rays reliever Ryne Stanek (1-3) in a bullpen game Wednesday night. Junis is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two appearances against Tampa Bay.
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