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For starters: Rays at Angels, with Hellickson back

Jeremy Hellickson is 0-5 in his past six starts, with a 9.00 ERA.


Jeremy Hellickson is 0-5 in his past six starts, with a 9.00 ERA.



UPDATE, 8:59: Similar to Tuesday night, Maddon said he would be quite pleased to get 5-6 innings and a lead out of Jeremy Hellickson, who is making his first start since Aug. 26. ... Maddon stuck with Myers in the lineup over Delmon Young (4-for-15 vs. Weaver) because he felt Myers is heating up, yet he put Myers behind Jennings in the order because he felt Jennings was more likely to take a walk or put the ball in a play in a key situation (translation: Myers more likely to strike out.) ... While Maddon says he has confidence in Hellickson, it should be noted the Rays set up the pitching for Triple-A Durham's playoff series to have Jake Odorizzi start tonight, so he'll be on the same schedule as Hellickson. ... Maddon said about 20 players and staff showed up for the "Win or Weep Party" at the Legends Sports Bar in Long Beach, and that two staffers spent the nice at his nearby house since they were going fishing early Wednesday - 3B coach Tom Foley and equipment manager Chris Westmoreland.


UPDATE, 7:32: Wil Myers is at DH and hitting 7th in tonight's lineup. with Matt Joyce in rightfield.

Rays lineup:
DeJesus lf
Zobrist 2b
Longoria 3b
Joyce rf
Loney 1b
Jennings cf
Myers dh
Molina c
Escobar ss
Hellickson p

Angels lineup:
Shuck lf
Aybar ss
Trout cf
Hamilton dh
Calhoun rf
Trumbo 1b
Conger c
Jimenez 3b
Green 2b

DEVELOPING: After snapping their five-game losing streak on Tuesday, the Rays are looking for two straight wins - and a good start from Jeremy Hellickson, who returns to the rotation after a forced rest following a rough stretch.

Hellickson was 0-5 in his last six starts, with a 9.00 ERA, when the Rays last week decided he needed a break, optioning him to the minors - on paper anyway - and giving him a few days away for a mental and physical break.

Though Hellickson took only one day off, he said the break was a good idea and he was confident he would pitch better upon his return.

The Rays enjoyed the win on Tuesday, and also the return of LHP Matt Moore from the DL as well as their offense from an extended slump.

Though the Rays scored seven runs on Tuesday - matching their total from the previous seven games - they still were inefficient, going 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position. That made them, according to Stats Inc., the first team to win a 9-inning game with 3 or fewer hits in 20 or more RISP at-bats since 2004, when the Angels were 3-for-22 in an Aug. 24 win over the Royals.

Lineups when available.


[Last modified: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 9:03pm]


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