Blake Snell has been on the run of his career. But instead of being nervous about it as though he were in the midst of a no-hit bid, he is having fun. And Tuesday, his teammates joined the party.
The Rays' No. 9 prospect tossed seven two-hit frames to extend his scoreless streak to 40 games as Double-A Montgomery blanked Tennessee, 14-0, in the capper of a day-night doubleheader at Smokies Park.
"He threw a great game out there for us this evening. He threw all his pitches for strikes and kept hitters off balance. He's been nothing but lights-out," Rays' No. 2 prospect Daniel Robertson said. "We don't get that win tonight if it's not for Blake Snell."
The 22-year-old southpaw didn't allow a hit until the fourth and forced 12 groundouts in the game. Snell (2-0) struck out five and walked two.
The 40-inning streak, which Robertson calls "an outrageously unbelievable number," spans four starts with Class A Advanced Charlotte and two with Montgomery. In his fifth season, Snell has held opponents to 16 hits and 16 walks while notching 48 strikeouts.
"It's been fun because I'm doing good. I wouldn't say it's nerve-wracking, it's just there. People talk to me about it, but I'm just trying to focus on each at-bat and not if someone scores, and just make my pitches," he said. "I'm just going to keep doing what I do, whenever someone does cross the plate, I'll tip my cap to them."
Before the 6-foot-4 hurler took the mound, the Biscuits had already played a full nine-inning game in the unconventional doubleheader.
"It's just different, but I came to the ballpark with the kind of attitude that it was going to be a good day," Robertson said. "Second game, I was a DH so that was fun. Just playing two games in general is a little unusual, but I'm glad the way it turned out."
MLB.com's No. 64 overall prospect reached base eight times. Robertson racked up six hits and a walk in his first seven trips to the plate for what he believes is the first time in his career. By the end of the day, he had gone 7-for-9 with a triple, five RBIs, three runs and walk.
"Just having good at-bats. I think was just battling out there, having good long at-bats. I think in the first game today I had four two-strike hits and a walk," Robertson said. "I just feel like when you can battle and grind out those, it gives you confidence. Balls were falling."
After playing with the 21-year-old in Spring Training, Snell is surprised Robertson doesn't hit like Tuesday every day, adding that he is the "most impressive player I've seen in a while."
Snell left after the seventh, and after that, the Biscuits put up 10 runs on seven hits.
Relievers Mark Sappington and Colton Reavis hurled a perfect frame apiece each to stop a five-game skid for Montgomery, including the 7-6 loss to Tennessee earlier in the day.
"We're still looking to get over the hump and put it all together and hopefully this gets us on the right foot," Robertson said.
No. 19 Cubs prospect Corey Black (1-2) allowed two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out six over six innings in the nightcap.
Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan.