TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
MLB

Hellickson goes seven innings strong as Rays beat Royals

{eot}
Associated Press
8/20/2012 10:44:05 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jeremy Hellickson found success again at Tropicana Field and helped the Tampa Bay Rays stay hot.

Hellickson pitched seven strong innings for his first home win in three months and the Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Monday night.

"I thought I was really good," Hellickson said. "Got ahead of guys. Curveball was pretty good. Just threw strikes for the most part."

Hellickson (8-8) allowed one run and six hits in ending a stretch of seven consecutive home winless starts, dating back to a 2-1 victory over Boston on May 16.

"It all started with the pitching," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I think (Hellickson) set the tone. He was sharp."

Tampa Bay was coming off an 8-2 road trip that concluded with a four-game sweep over the Los Angeles Angels. The Rays had a 3.73 ERA before the All-Star break but have had 2.32 ERA since, lowering their season mark to an AL-best 3.31

Tampa Bay went ahead 4-1 in the fourth on Jose Labaton's RBI single and a run-scoring double from Desmond Jennings off Will Smith (4-5).

Hellickson worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the sixth. The right-hander appeared to have induced a double-play grounder from Billy Butler, but second baseman Ryan Roberts throw after recording an out at second broke through the webbing on first baseman Jeff Keppinger's glove and wound up behind the bag. Unfazed, Hellickson then got an inning-ending double-play from the next batter, Salvador Perez.

"I'm sure that glove may have Kepp's first first baseman's glove," Maddon said. "It had the old Rawlings label on it, so it was an old glove."

Hellickson was the losing pitcher in his last start -- despite allowing one run over seven innings -- last Wednesday against Seattle when Felix Hernandez threw the Mariners' first perfect game.

"I got some runs early and it's always nice," Hellickson said.

Tampa Bay reliever J.P. Howell worked a scoreless eighth to extend his team record scoreless streak to 25 2-3 innings. Kyle Farnsworth got the final three outs in a non-save situation.

Elliot Johnson put the Rays ahead 1-0 on a run-scoring single in the second. Jennings hit a third-inning triple and scored on Smith's wild pitch as Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead.

Smith lasted just 3 2-3 innings, giving up four runs and eight hits. The left-hander had won his previous two starts, allowing two runs over seven innings in games against both Baltimore and Oakland.

"After the first inning, I was just bad," Smith said. "No location, no breaking ball, which really hurt. I was falling behind too much. I just wasn't any good. You have those days but you hate having them."

Keppinger extended the Rays' advantage to 5-1 with a fifth-inning solo homer.

Kansas City tied it at 1-all on Alex Gordon's RBI infield single during the third. The Royals completed a 5-1 homestand on Sunday, which included a three-game sweep over the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox this past weekend.

"We're playing well, but it's a tough place to play and they're playing very, very well," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Their starting pitching's outstanding."

Notes: Maddon expects 3B Evan Longoria, who has been limited to DH since returning from a partially torn left hamstring on Aug. 7, will play defence later this week. Longoria was rested Monday night. ... Kansas City RHP Luke Hochevar (7-11) and Tampa Bay LHP David Price (16-4) are Tuesday night's scheduled starters. Hochevar is 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA in three career road starts against the Rays. ... Tampa Bay DH Luke Scott (strained right oblique) could rejoin the team Tuesday. ... Gordon had two hits in three at-bats. He entered the game 2 for 53 at Tropicana Field.

Jeremy Hellickson (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story



The Boys of Summer

MLB Preview 2014

It's time for another season of Major League Baseball. Get primed for 2014 with previews for all 30 teams including Scott MacArthur's look at what to expect from the Toronto Blue Jays.


American League: East | Central | West
National League: East | Central | West
Toronto Blue Jays

Free Agency: American League | National League

Podcasts

TSN 690 - Melnick in the Afternoon - Orlando Cabrera - April 10th

Mitch, Rod and Gallo welcome former Montreal Expo shortstop and 2004 World Series Champion Orlando Cabrera to the show.

TSN: Blue Jays Report with Scott MacArthur: April 9 - Opening Edition

In the Opening Edition of the Podcast, Scott MacArthur, Richard Griffin (Toronto Star) and Gregor Chisholm (MLB.com) discuss Toronto Blue Jays.

TSN 1050: Macko & Cauz: April 8 - Gregor Chisholm

MLB.com Blue Jays Reporter Gregor Chisholm talks about the Jays season so far and the importance of their pitching.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television