Snell has been the Rays' most consistent pitcher all season. Entering Sunday's start, the lefty had allowed five hits or fewer in a club-record 12 consecutive starts, dating back to Sept. 12. So the Rays looked primed to claim a split of the four-game series. Orioles hitters had other ideas.
While Snell only surrendered six hits in the 3 1/3 innings he pitched, three of them were home runs. He wasn't the only Rays pitcher to struggle keeping the ball in the yard, as the Orioles went deep a dozen times in the four-game set.
"Just was fighting myself the whole time," Snell said. "That was pretty frustrating. Same time, that's a good lineup. They're hot right now. You've got to tip your hat, they beat me today.
" ... I didn't show up ready to go. Now I have to sit on that for five days and get ready for [the Angels in his next start]."
Danny Valencia hit the Orioles' first home run of the day.
"Obviously, you want to score runs," Valencia said. "[Snell is] really tough. He didn't have his best day, but I've faced him plenty and he is not a comfortable at-bat. He's one of the great left-handed pitchers in our league and to score like that early is huge."
Andrew Kittredge took over for Snell with one out in the fourth, and the game spiraled out of control. The right-hander did not retire any of the seven batters he faced, allowing six runs on six hits as the Orioles built an 11-0 lead.
Prominent in the Orioles' attack was Joey Rickard, the former Rays farmhand whom the Orioles grabbed via the 2015 Rule 5 Draft. The Orioles recalled Rickard from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Sunday's game and he responded with two home runs: one off Snell, and the other off Kittredge.
"Well, Baltimore, we knew coming in they were hot," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "So you've got to give them credit. Anytime a team scores 17, that's a lot of runs. So they're seeing the ball really well. Our pitchers definitely didn't do us any favors.
" ... I didn't think Blake looked quite like himself. Pulled him early. He was kind of nursing a hip, a minor, minor injury. But wanted make sure we kept his pitch count down. ... Shave off 25 or 30 pitches, so he'll feel fresher for his next outing."
After scoring 10 runs in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, the Rays' offense came up empty Sunday. Much of that had to do with the effectiveness of Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, who held the Rays to no runs on two hits and four walks while striking out seven in seven innings to earn his second win of the season. Denard Span's RBI single in the eighth accounted to the Rays' lone run.
"Kind of a bad day. Let's go watch the [NHL's Tampa Bay] Lightning win and talk about Kansas City tomorrow," Cash said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED When Wilson Ramos flew out to right for the third out of the eighth, the Rays catcher saw his hitting streak end at 18 games. Ramos' streak was the longest in the Major Leagues this season, but one shy of his career high of 19 (April 24 to May 19, 2015, with the Nationals). He also fell one game shy of tying the Rays' club record held by Jason Bartlett.
SOUND SMART The 17 runs allowed by Rays pitchers marked a season high and the most in a game since also allowing 17 runs Aug. 7, 2010, at Toronto. The 16-run defeat matched the third-largest margin of defeat in franchise history, and is the largest margin of defeat since losing 21-4 against the Yankees on July 22, 2007.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS Johnny Field made his first career pitching appearance Sunday, coming in to pitch the eighth inning. The Rays outfielder allowed only a walk, while getting three outs on flyouts.
"Just tried to throw it slow, slow and slower, and hopefully get them to pop it up," said Field, who got the opportunity after Cash found out he'd pitched in a game for Triple-A Durham last season. Prior to that, he had not pitched in a game since before high school.
ROSTER MOVE Following the game, Kittredge was optioned to Triple-A Durham. A corresponding move will be made prior to Monday night's game in Kansas City.
UP NEXT Ryan Yarbrough will be making his second consecutive start, and his third of the season, when the Rays play the Royals on Monday in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest at Kauffman Stadium. In his last outing, the left-hander allowed five earned runs on six hits in five innings against the Braves. Right-handers are hitting just .185 against him this season. Left-hander Eric Skoglund will start for the Royals.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.