Blake Snell tosses 7 shutout frames, Rays thump Cubs to split 2-game set

ST. PETRSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Blake Snell gave up two hits in seven shutout innings and the Tampa Bay Rays ended the Chicago Cubs' season-best seven-game winning streak 8-1 on Wednesday night.

The Cubs, who had not lost since being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series in Chicago on Sept. 8-10, are scheduled to open a four-game series in Milwaukee on Thursday night. They held a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers entering Wednesday.

Steven Souza Jr. hit his 30th home run in the first inning and the Rays added three more runs in the second off Jon Lester.

Wilson Ramos, who had three of Tampa Bay's 10 hits, made it 7-0 with a two-run single in the fifth that knocked Lester (11-8) out of the game.

Lester, who had won three starts since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 2, gave up seven runs and eight hits with three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He had no strikeouts.

Snell (4-6) gave up singles to John Jay in the third and Addison Russell in the fifth. He walked three and struck out five in seven innings. Snell is 4-0 in 10 starts since July 24.

Jay drove in the Cubs' run with a single in the eighth off reliever Ryne Stanek.

BERNIE WILLIAMS PERFORMS FOR IPF

Former New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams performed "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on an acoustic guitar during the seventh-inning stretch as part of the Breathless IPF campaign. It raises awareness of the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which afflicted Williams' father.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta, who has missed two starts due to a strained right hamstring, will pitch Thursday at Milwaukee. … RHP Hector Rondon (right elbow inflammation) threw a bullpen session.

Rays: LHP Xavier Cedeno (left forearm tightness) will be activated from the 60-day disabled list. Cedeno last pitched on April 16.

UP NEXT

Cubs: A four-game series in Milwaukee starts Thursday night. The Brewers stayed in the race with a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field two weeks ago.

Rays: RHP Matt Andriese (5-3) will pitch Thursday night's opener of a four-game series in Baltimore.