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Snell one win away from Rays' history books

September 17, 2018

ARLINGTON -- Rays left-handed ace Blake Snell has a chance to tie club history when he faces the Rangers on Tuesday night, but he has yet to give that much thought.Snell entered the day with 19 wins, which led the Majors. With a win on Tuesday, Snell would tie David

ARLINGTON -- Rays left-handed ace Blake Snell has a chance to tie club history when he faces the Rangers on Tuesday night, but he has yet to give that much thought.
Snell entered the day with 19 wins, which led the Majors. With a win on Tuesday, Snell would tie David Price for the most single-season wins in Rays history. Price won 20 games in 2012, when he won the American League Cy Young Award.
Snell, however, isn't worried about individual milestones at the moment.
"Team's going to have to win, and we're going to have to play good baseball to be able to do that against a good Texas team," Snell said of the 20-win mark. "I think their lineup's great. They have a very good offensive lineup. It's going to be tough for us. Focused on what we can do, not individual goals. I need a team to do it, so I'm not going to focus on it."
Snell's lone start against the Rangers came on April 16, when he pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed just a solo home run to Joey Gallo in an 8-4 win.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said he's excited to see Snell get a chance to reach 20 wins and continue to build his Cy Young case against Texas.
"That's a huge mark," Cash said. "I don't want to overplay it too much or put any added pressure on it, but you look at what Blake's done, you look at what some other really, really good pitchers and where they're at this year, and I think any starting pitcher that has a track record will tell you how important [it is] and how much they care to get 20 wins."
Snell has won seven consecutive decisions, which is the longest streak by a Ray since Alex Cobb won seven straight during the 2014 season.
Cash impressed with Lowe
After earning a callup on Aug. 4, Brandon Lowe struggled and went hitless in his first 19 big league at-bats. But Cash has been impressed with how the second baseman has bounced back.
Lowe is batting .286 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 15 games, and since the start of September, his nine extra-base hits are tied for second among American League rookies.

"You see why he had so much success between Double-A [Montgomery] and Triple-A [Durham]," Cash said. "You look at him in stature and it's a little confusing. He walked in the clubhouse and you're like, 'This guy hit [22] home runs [in the Minors]? You scratch your head, but then you watch the ball come off his bat and you totally understand why. He's got a really quick bat."
All five of Lowe's home runs have come in his last 16 games after he went homerless in his first 15 career games. Lowe was ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the Rays' system in MLB Pipeline's midseason update.
Worth noting
Matt Duffy and C.J. Cron were not in Monday's lineup against the Rangers and each received regular days off. Duffy is riding a five-game hitting streak and is batting .333 in his last 19 games, while Cron snapped a 0-for-12 skid with a two-run home run on Sunday against the A's.

*Wesley Dotson *is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.