basemen lost the grip on their bats an inning

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    Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell and Wilson Ramos are hoping they both get selected to the American League All-Star team. Saturday afternoon’s performance at Citi Field may have strengthened the batterymates’ chances.

    Snell blanked the Mets over a career-high-tying 7 1/3 innings Bills Cheap Jerseys , Ramos drove in a pair of runs and the Rays downed New York 3-0 on Saturday.

    ”I’d be pumped,” Snell said about the possibility of playing in the Midsummer Classic. ”I’d be stoked.”

    A late afternoon start under clear blue skies featured two young left-handers at the top of their game in recent weeks, both successfully dodging a slew of baserunners early.

    Ranked among the league leaders in several categories, the 25-year-old Snell was as advertised- keeping the Mets off the board despite allowing the leadoff runner to reach in six out of eight frames including each of the first four.

    Snell (12-4) struck out nine, scattering six hits and three walks while lowering his AL-leading ERA to 2.09.

    ”Blake has been tremendous for us. He’s been the workhorse.” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”We’re talking about a potential All-Star candidate.”

    The lanky lefty has yielded two runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts and is 4-0 with an 0.63 ERA over his last four outings, two against the Astros.

    ”He deserves to be in the All-Star Game because he’s had an awesome year,” Ramos said of the Rays starter. ”There’s nothing better than being with your teammates in the All-Star Game.”

    The feeling is mutual.

    ”He needs to go,” Snell said, rallying for his backstop. ”It would be even cooler if I did go and pitch to him. I think that would be special for the both of us.”

    After being held scoreless in 34 of their previous 36 innings, Tampa Bay finally broke through in the fifth. Matt Duffy lined a leadoff double down the right-field line, the fourth two-bagger surrendered by Mets starter Steven Matz to that point, advancing to third on a groundout.

    Ramos followed with a sharp grounder to shortstop. A charging Amed Rosario booted the ball before recovering and throwing to first for the out. With Duffy running on contact, Rosario likely would have cut down the run at home had he fielded the ball cleanly. Instead, the Rays took a 1-0 lead.

    ”He just came in on it hard,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”He looked up just to see where the runner was and it hit off his heel.”

    Matz (4-6) continued his recent surge Panthers Cheap Jerseys , charged with one run on five hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings- striking out five. The Long Island native has allowed four earned runs across his last three starts, a span of 18 2/3 innings.

    He escaped trouble early by getting Adeiny Hechavarria to fly out, ending a bases-loaded threat in the first. The Rays left seven men on in the first four innings and were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position during that stretch.

    ”I get in situations throughout the game where I can crumble,” Matz said. ”But I think just realizing what I’ve got to do out there, and just the task at hand, has really helped.”

    Tampa Bay was 2 for 25 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series, stranding a total of 18.

    The Rays added some insurance in the eighth on a bloop single by former Met Carlos Gomez, scoring Daniel Robertson. Ramos singled home a run in the ninth.

    Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 13 chances.

    Neither Snell nor Matz had faced the opposing team before.

    Jose Bautista was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts after hitting a game-ending grand slam in the series opener Friday night.

    LOOSE LUMBER

    Both starting third basemen lost the grip on their bats an inning apart. Todd Frazier swung at a fastball in the bottom of the fourth, fouling it off and also sending his bat deep into foul territory down the third base line. Duffy had a similar experience in the fifth, letting go of his lumber and causing it to fly towards the Rays’ on-deck circle.

    CLOSE CALL

    The Rays had a brief scare in the second when Snell’s pitching hand was grazed by a 92-mph sinker. The southpaw took his base and did not appear to be in pain.

    ”I’m happy that it didn’t really hit me hard,” Snell said.

    TRAINER’S ROOM

    Rays: Rookie infielder Willy Adames was scratched from the starting lineup. ”He’s just under the weather,” Cash said. ”He was battling a bug last night and I think he woke up this morning a little bit worse.” … RHP Jake Faria (strained left oblique) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with high-A Charlotte Saturday night. … INF Christian Arroyo (strained left oblique) could play for Charlotte on Monday but the club is not fully committed to that plan, according to Cash.

    Mets: LF Yoenis Cespedes (right hip) is continuing baseball activities including running straight sprints, although he has yet to begin turning the bases to simulate a double. ”Trying to figure out that schedule as we go along,” said Callaway about when his club’s top slugger might play in a rehab game. ”All that’s going to be based on how he bounces back day-to-day.”

    UP NEXT

    Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-3 Bengals Cheap Jerseys , 3.92 ERA) pitches in the rubber game on Sunday. He has allowed just two runs over his last two starts, a span of twelve innings in which he fanned 14 batters.

    Mets: RHP Chris Flexen (0-1, 10.80 ERA in 3 relief appearances) will make his first start of the season.

    When a New Jersey racetrack and a casino start taking bets on sporting events Thursday, they will be part of an industry primed for tremendous growth, much of it taking place on smartphones, according to a panel of national gambling experts.

    Speaking Wednesday at the east Coast Gaming Congress at Harrah’s casino in Atlantic City, a panel of sports betting and technology company representatives predicted the fastest-growing segment of sports betting will be bets made on smartphones as games are being played.

    While bettors always will want to bet on the outcome of a game before it begins, many also want to predict particular plays or developments within a game, the panelists said.

    So in addition to wagering on whether the New York Yankees would beat the Boston Red Sox, many gamblers also would want to bet on whether Yankee Aaron Judge would hit a home run just as he arrives at the plate, or how many batters Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale would strike out in a particular inning.

    Such betting is the main element of growth in the European sports betting market.

    ”The growth of in-play has been a huge driver,” said Neale Deeley, vice president of Sportradar US, a data company that works with more than 70 sports federations and leagues around the world on fraud detection, including the NBA Aleksander Barkov Jersey , NHL and Major League Soccer.

    ”Mobile and in-play were absolutely made for each other,” added Lee Richardson, CEO of Spectrum Gaming Group, a gambling consulting firm near Atlantic City. ”It’s what customers want to do.”

    The forum came a day before New Jerseyans were to begin placing their first legal sports bets. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy was to place the state’s first legal sports bet at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Monmouth Park, a horse racing track near the Jersey shore in Oceanport.

    Thirty minutes later and about 70 miles to the south, Atlantic City’s Borgata casino will start taking sports bets.

    No other New Jersey racetrack or casino has announced plans to begin taking bets within the next few days, although most if not all are expected to do so eventually. The Golden Nugget casino and the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, near New York City say they’ll have sports betting operations up and running by the start of football season in September.

    New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement issued its regulations for sports betting providers Wednesday, clearing the last major obstacle for it to begin.

    The state won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they choose.

    Experts at the conference cautioned against unduly optimistic projections of sports betting revenue and tax money for states; the activity accounts for about 2 percent of Nevada casinos’ total winnings. In New Jersey, Moody’s has estimated sports betting could initially bring in $108 million, or about 4 percent of the state’s annual gambling revenue.

    Follow Wayne Parry at

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