ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Blake Snell and Travis d’Arnaud are making good things happen for the Tampa Bay Rays when they’re on the field together.
Snell struck out 10 in six scoreless innings, d’Arnaud hit his first grand slam and the Rays stopped their longest losing streak of the year at five games by beating the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Sunday.
“Got us back in the win column,” Snell said. “All in all, it was good.”
Last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner, Snell (6-7) allowed three hits and two walks while throwing a season-high 109 pitches.
D’Arnaud had been hitless in 11 at-bats since a three-homer game Monday night in a 5-4 win over the New York Yankees that preceded his team’s recent skid.
“It’s a pretty good one, top 10 I would say,” d’Arnaud said about his homer. “More importantly we won today.”
Snell started Monday’s game and gave up one run in five innings.
“When I’m pitching, he’s catching, he hits home runs,” Snell said.
Tampa Bay is 16-21 since June 11 and nine games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees. The Rays are also in back of Cleveland and Oakland in the AL wild-card race after once having an eight-game advantage in terms of reaching the postseason.
Yolmer Sanchez got his 21st triple since 2017 for the White Sox, who won the first two games of the series and were seeking their first sweep since May 27-29 against Kansas City.
Yandy Diaz walked, Avisail Garcia singled and Joey Wendle also walked before d’Arnaud sent a 1-1 pitch from Dylan Cease (1-2) into the left field seats for a 4-0 lead.
Over the past seven games, d’Arnaud has nine of Tampa Bay’s 18 RBIs.
The Rays got all three of their hits in the second, when Cease threw 44 pitches. He gave up four runs, three hits and four walks over five innings in his third career start.
“I’m sure everyone in the world thought he was done after the second,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He ended up giving us five. They got three hits and four runs and that was it. Then he kept them in check and the rest of the guys did a nice job.”
Sanchez had an RBI triple and scored on Adam Engel’s infield single off Andrew Kittredge to make it 4-2 in the seventh.
Emilio Pagan struck out the side in the eighth and Adam Kolarek got his first save since Sept. 1 last year with a 1-2-3 ninth to complete a five-hitter.
Snell worked out of a second-and-third, none-out jam in the first. After Jose Abreu struck out and with James McCann batting, Leury Garcia was tagged out while trying to score from third on a pitch in the dirt that eluded d’Arnaud. Snell covered the plate and took the throw from d’Arnaud.
“The ball gets away, Travis then makes a great play,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Blake is there on time and kind of almost blocked the plate like he had done it before.”
Snell ended the inning by striking out McCann.
The White Sox stole three bases, including a double steal, in the first off Snell, who had two wild pitches during the third. ... Rays RF Austin Meadows doubled in the second and has a career-best 12-game hitting streak. ... Engel is 6 for 11 since being recalled Friday from Triple-A Charlotte. ... Snell is 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA in six starts against the White Sox.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (sprained left thumb) was placed on the 10-day injured list. ... INF Matt Duffy (left hamstring strain) will be reinstated from the 60-day IL within the next couple of days. ... INF Daniel Robertson (right knee) could start a rehab assignment Monday with Class A Charlotte.
White Sox: RHP Ivan Nova (4-9, 5.86 ERA) will face Miami RHP Trevor Richards (3-11, 4.24) on Monday night to begin a 10-game homestand. Nova is 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four starts against the Marlins.
Rays: LHP Jalen Beeks (5-0) will make his first start of the season against Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (11-4, 4.34 ERA).