The Tampa Bay Rays keep winning.The Baltimore Orioles keep losing.After Blake Snell won his 18th of the season in Friday night’s 14-2 rout of the Orioles Friday night http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-mark-mcgwire-jersey , Kevin Cash sends “opener” Diego Castillo to the mound in Saturday night’s second game of the three-game series at Tropicana Field.Article continues below ...The Rays, long shots in the American League wild-card chase, improved to 76-64, 23-11 since the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.The Rays got a grand slam from Ji-Man Choi and the first major league home run from Nick Ciuffo to blast the Birds on Friday night.Snell, 18-5 (tied for the major league lead in wins) with a 2.06 ERA, struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings. But a two-run homer by Joey Rickard in the sixth inning ended the left-hander’s streak of consecutive home starts allowing one or zero runs at 14, dating to last season.“Blake was really good again,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Obviously, the runs are great to have, but I think Blake sets the tone, obviously, with the way that he’s been throwing the ball here. I was excited to have him open up this series and he definitely did his part.”Asked about Snell pitching like an ace, Cash said, “He’s performed like one this year. It’s tough to argue that he hasn’t. It’s pretty remarkable the turnaround. We talk about it a lot Dexter Fowler Jersey , and I guess we’ll continue to talk about it. I guess when the day comes when we’re not talking about it, then it becomes a normal fifth day for him.“If that’s the case, then he becomes a really special pitcher.”The Rays hit four home runs. Tampa Bay pitchers struck out 15 and walked none in the game as the Orioles reached 100 losses for the first time since going 54-107 in 1988 and third time since moving from St. Louis after the 1953 season.Ryan Yarbrough, a 13-game winner as both a starter and reliever, will handle the bulk of the innings Saturday. The Orioles will start rookie right-hander David Hess, although Hess almost didn’t make it.Hess, who has three wins in 12 decisions this season, has two of them against the Rays, who are just 9-8 against the 41-100 Orioles. Hess was hit in the eye with a football before Friday night’s game and had to visit an ophthalmologist before getting word he’s fine.“Going out there and playing around, that’s just a part of being an athlete,” said Hess, who was seen later in the dugout wearing an LSU football helmet. “We want to go out and maybe toss around a football or a Frisbee or whatever. This is one of those times when a freak accident happens, so I guess next time I’ve got to move my head or catch the ball.”He is 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Rays. He is 1-9 with a 6.03 ERA against everyone else.In three starts against the Rays, he has worked 18 1/3 innings http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-steve-carlton-jersey , yielding six runs. His first two big league wins came May 12 and 25, both against Tampa Bay.He also defeated the Rays on Aug. 9, his only victory in his last 12 starts, with relief appearances mixed in. The current Tampa Bay roster is a combined 11-for-46 (.239) against Hess. Joey Wendle is 4-for-5 (.800) and Matt Duffy 4-for-9 (.444), and C.J. Cron is 1-for-9 (.111) and Mallex Smith 1-for-6 (.167). BOSTON (AP) — Gerrit Cole struggled at the beginning of his second playoff start with the Houston Astros.By the time he recovered, it was too late. Boston was well on its way to a big win.Cole’s electric fastball was lined all over Fenway Park and he also committed a costly error in his first career appearance in the AL Championship Series, losing 7-5 to the Red Sox in Game 2 on Sunday.“You know early, I thought he was a little over-amped,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He was pretty excited — a lot of energy, wasn’t (executing) a ton of pitches.”One night after Justin Verlander pitched Houston to a 7-2 victory in the series opener, Cole was unable to duplicate the success of his fellow hard-throwing right-hander. The 28-year-old Cole allowed a season-high five runs and surrendered six hits — all of them on fastballs — in six innings.Game 3 is Tuesday in Houston.Cole said his main trouble in the first inning was his inability to get his breaking pitches over the plate.“I was just not able to really find the zone with it and be able to put pressure on them with those offerings,” he said. “You know, I just found myself without leverage and I found myself with traffic, and I had to make some pitches. I did the best I could in those situations Paul DeJong Jersey , but when you’re facing some of the best hitters in the world, they do their job as well.”Cole went 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA in his first season with Houston after he was acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh, helping the World Series champion Astros return to the playoffs with a second straight AL West title.He was terrific in the AL Division Series against Cleveland, striking out 12 while pitching seven innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 victory in Game 2. He joined Hall of Famer Tom Seaver as the only players to strike out at least 12 without walking a batter in the postseason.He had a completely different performance against the high-scoring Red Sox.Looking amped and jittery, Cole allowed his first run on his sixth pitch of the game. Mookie Betts drove his 3-1 pitch off the wall in center, and Andrew Benintendi followed with an RBI single.After J.D. Martinez lined to second, Cole picked up Xander Bogaerts’ bouncer in front of the mound and threw wildly to first for an error. The miscue helped set up Rafael Devers’ RBI single.“I fielded the ball, I checked second,” Cole said. “I felt like I had good footing to throw to Yuli (Gurriel) and the back foot gave out as I was throwing it and I just kind of goosed it.”Houston tried to pick up Cole with two runs in the second and third, but he was unable to hold onto the 4-2 lead.Jackie Bradley Jr. put Boston ahead to stay with a three-run double off the Green Monster with two out in the third. Cole walked Devers on four pitches and struck out Ian Kinsler swinging before Bradley’s big blow.“I was having a little bit of trouble that inning trying to field my way through the strike zone,” Cole said. “I felt that after I had got the count back to 2-1 that I was going to just try to execute a fastball down and away. I executed it down, but it creeped over the plate too much which I guess gave him enough barrel to be able to just put it right on the wall down there.”After Boston took its 5-4 lead, Cole struck out Christian Vazquez to end the inning and retired his next nine batters before he was lifted from just his third career start at Fenway.Cole was 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA in four career playoff starts coming into the night.