|Rays' Snell hopes to continue July success vs. White Sox|
The Tampa Bay Rays will turn to a resurgent Blake Snell as they look to end their five-game losing streak in Sunday's series finale against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
The Rays were one out away from a win on Sunday before James McCann's homer off Emilio Pagan tied it, and the White Sox scored the go-ahead run in the 11th inning for a 2-1 win.
"It's super frustrating," Pagan told the Tampa Bay Times. "I'm getting pretty sick and tired of saying we played OK, or made a good pitch, or made a good swing and things didn't go our way. We've got to find a way to somehow fight out of this and come out on top."
Left-hander Snell (5-7, 4.55 ERA) pitched to a 9.64 ERA in six June starts, but has been far better in July, allowing two earned runs in 10 innings over two starts, both against the New York Yankees. In his last time out, he allowed a run on five hits over five innings.
Snell threw 93 pitches, 56 for strikes. The only run against him scored on Edwin Encarnacion's solo home run.
Chicago right-hander Dylan Cease (1-1, 5.73 ERA) makes his third major league start on Sunday. Last time out, he allowed six runs, four earned, in six innings of a loss to the Royals. He struck out seven and walked one.
"The numbers in this instance would be extremely deceiving about his outing," manager Rick Renteria told MLB.com. "I thought he did a nice job. We had a positive out of Dylan Cease's outing."
The White Sox committed two errors -- Cease added a third -- and a couple of other defensive plays that could have been made were not.
"For the most part I actually felt pretty good," Cease told reporters after throwing 108 pitches. "One walk is huge. I felt like I had a better feel than I've had most of the year, actually. Probably after the third, I felt like I got in a decent rhythm. I felt pretty solid all day."
In his July 3 debut, Cease walked four batters in five innings.
Chicago has won two in row after losing seven straight.
On Saturday, Yoan Moncada led off the 11th with a walk against Adam Kolarek (3-3). Chaz Roe came on to face Jose Abreu and Moncada broke from first on a 2-1 pitch. Abreu sent a slow bouncer to right field and Moncada came all the way around to score.
It was the sixth time in the last 15 games the Rays have lost when either tied or leading going into the seventh inning.
Tampa Bay got the leadoff runner on base in seven straight innings but scored only when Avisail Garcia homered leading off the seventh. The Rays were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and are 5 for their last 57.
"You can see it on both sides of the ball. Pitchers are pressing to always put up zeroes, and guys on offense are pressing to come up with the big hit," catcher Mike Zunino told the Times. "That's when you see things like this happening. Guys scoring from first on a 12-hopper through the right side."
The Rays' Kevin Kiermaier left Saturday's game with a left thumb sprain after a head-first slide into first base and will be re-evaluated Sunday.
--Field Level Media