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Cash wants longer outings from lefty Snell

Southpaw throws five-plus innings in win on Saturday vs. Astros
MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash has been generally pleased with what he's seen from Blake Snell this season, but he wants to see the young left-hander go deeper into starts.

Snell went five-plus innings in the Rays' 6-3 win, allowing three runs on three hits while walking five and striking out four. His longest start of his four this season is 6 2/3 innings, coming on April 6. In his last three outings, though, he's thrown a combined 14 2/3 innings, with the longest being his outing on Saturday vs. the Astros.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash has been generally pleased with what he's seen from Blake Snell this season, but he wants to see the young left-hander go deeper into starts.

Snell went five-plus innings in the Rays' 6-3 win, allowing three runs on three hits while walking five and striking out four. His longest start of his four this season is 6 2/3 innings, coming on April 6. In his last three outings, though, he's thrown a combined 14 2/3 innings, with the longest being his outing on Saturday vs. the Astros.

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"We need to see completeness and just find a way to win," Cash said before the game. "Not really concerned how we do it, but let's find a way to win -- put the ball in play and let the defense work."

While Snell only allowed three hits, two were solo home runs to Evan Gattis and Jose Altuve. Snell wasn't very efficient with his 87 pitches, either, throwing 39 strikes. The final batter he faced of the night, Altuve to lead off the sixth, walked and eventually scored to give the Astros the lead.

In his 21 1/3 innings this season, Snell has issued 15 walks. Last season, he walked 51 over 89 innings.

"The walk after the homer and the lead-off walk to start the sixth ... we have to find a way to nip those," Cash said. "We don't [want to] put additional runners on via the walk."

The Astros were able to get runners on base in five of the six innings that they faced Snell, but outside of the home runs, they couldn't capitalize with clutch hits.

"We ambushed him a couple times with a couple big home runs, but we didn't do a ton after we got some free passes," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It wasn't our best night. We didn't really piece together any at-bat after at-bat after we did get a few baserunners."

Worth noting

• Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier was pulled from the game in the sixth inning for pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos, who hit a two-run single. Kiermaier missed batting practice Saturday and Cash said he is continuing to deal with an illness.

"[Kiermaier] is just not feeling good at all, so we're monitoring that," Cash said. "He's just weak right now, and it was probably just time for him to come out of the game."

• Right-hander Tommy Hunter experienced tightness in his right calf when he tried to cover first base on a slow grounder.

"I'll come in tomorrow and see if it's any better," Hunter said. "It's sore. I don't know if I'm going to be out there tomorrow. It doesn't feel very good."

Video: HOU@TB: Hunter injures himself covering first base

Tampa Bay Rays, Blake Snell