Hellickson roughed up by Tigers in final spring start
Watching three of his pitches disappear over the outfield wall at Joker Marchant Stadium on a sun-kissed afternoon is not the way Jeremy Hellickson planned on spending his last start of spring training.
On the day Hellickson was named the Rays No. 2 starter behind ace David Price, he didn't perform like one, giving up eight runs (six earned) on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings in a 8-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Hellickson, 25, allowed a home run each inning. Prince Fielder blasted a two-run bomb to right in the first; Alex Avila sliced a two-run home run to left field in the second and Omar Infante had a solo shot in the third.
"I'm pretty disappointed,'' Hellickson said. "That's not how I wanted to go into the season. I feel good. I'm healthy. That's the main thing. But I'm disappointed with today.''
The Rays did not get a hit until the fifth inning when Kelly Johnson doubled to right. Sam Fuld hit a two-run homer in the eighth.
It was the second time in a week Hellickson pitched against the Tigers in Lakeland. He pitched six innings and allowed only three runs on eight hits in a 11-5 win over Detroit on March 19.
In Hellickson's previous two spring training starts, he was able to pitch at least six innings. But on Friday, Hellickson fell behind hitters and needed 72 pitches to complete three innings. The Tigers sent nine men to the plate in a four-run second which included a throwing error by third baseman Ryan Roberts.
"I felt great the last two outings. Command was right where I wanted it to be and that's what's frustrating about today. I thought I was right where I wanted to be and it was just one of those days. It's pretty frustrating.
"Command wasn't there. I thought my stuff was all right. My curveball was pretty good but I've got to command it, too, and I didn't.''