ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.
The win, only the fourth in their past 16 games, snapped a four-game losing streak for the Rays (61-65). They began the day four games back of the second wild-card spot in the American League East.
Kevin Kiermaier, who returned Friday from the disabled list, continued to be a spark for the offense. He got things started in the first inning with a leadoff homer off the batter's eye in centerfield. Kiermaier is 6-for-15 since rejoining the team.
Adeiny Hechavarria hit a two-run homer in the seventh to make it a three-run game.
The two home runs for the Rays followed their three-homer output in Saturday's 7-6 loss.
It was the Rays' first victory against the Mariners this season, following five losses.
The rest of the day belonged to Snell, who won his second straight start.
Snell allowed two hits in his seven scoreless innings. He retired 12 straight at one point.
His last inning was his most impressive.
Robinson Cano ended Snell's run of 12 straight retired with a one-out single to center. That brought Nelson Cruz to the plate. The Seattle DH homered in each of the first two games. But after taking the first pitch for a ball, Cruz swung through an 84-mph changeup. Snell then threw a 94-mph fastball that Cruz swung at and missed for strike two. Cruz fouled off a second 94-mph fastball then chased a 78-mph curve in the dirt for strike three.
Snell walked Mitch Haniger and faced former teammate Taylor Motter with the tying run at second base. He got Motter to ground to Evan Longoria at third for the final out.
Tommy Hunter pitched a perfect eighth inning.
Alex Colome worked the ninth for his major league-leading 36th save.