Saturday, June 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Jake McGee has unusual lapse vs. Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon didn't have much to critique about LHP Jake McGee after one of his most reliable relievers earned his first loss since July 2013.

"Jake had a really good night," Maddon said. "It just didn't work out."

McGee ended a run of eight scoreless outings when Derek Jeter singled home the Yankees' go-ahead run Saturday. The three hits McGee allowed tied his season high, and his 32 pitches were the most he has thrown all season. Three of his eight career losses have come against the Yankees, including the last one (July 28, 2013).

McGee said his stuff was normal — his velocity touched 99 mph — but his command wasn't quite as sharp. He wanted the pitch to Jeter further up and away instead of having it run over the plate.

"I just wasn't locating well enough," McGee said.

BELNOME BACK UP: INF Vince Belnome capped a crazy week and a half by being recalled Saturday from Triple-A Durham.

"It doesn't get much better than that," Belnome said of his third call-up to the majors this year. "You can always find some energy if you're coming up to the big leagues."

Even if you've had a stretch like Belnome. Durham had four doubleheaders in seven days, then played an 11-inning game Friday night. Belnome was pulled two innings early but still didn't get to sleep until 2 a.m. Saturday. He woke up four hours later to catch a flight that got him to Tropicana Field in plenty of time to bat seventh at DH. He finished 0-for-2 with a walk.

Belnome's addition — and the departure of RHP Brandon Gomes, who was optioned back to Durham after Friday's game — lets the Rays return to having seven relievers and 13 position players.

HELLICKSON OVER THE HUMP: After a slow start, RHP Jeremy Hellickson has started to find his rhythm after offseason elbow surgery.

He has allowed only one run over his past two starts, and he has thrown at least six innings each time — a feat he hadn't accomplished since the middle of last year.

"It's nice to know I can go out there and do it two times in a row," said Hellickson, who will start today. "Those first three starts, I felt good. Just the results weren't there. It was nice to get the results and feel good after a start."

MEDICAL MATTERS: C Ryan Hanigan (oblique) ran the bases Saturday and worked out behind the plate. Maddon said he continues to improve, although the Rays still aren't sure when he might return.

OF Wil Myers (wrist) continued his rehab assignment in Durham. He started in leftfield and went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks.

OF David DeJesus (hand) opened his rehab assignment for the Gulf Coast League Rays on Saturday morning. He was 0-for-1 and scored after drawing a walk.

MISCELLANY: The Rays covered a $540 tab for beer and bar sausages Friday night for the St. Petersburg American Legion Post 14, as part of Maddon's American Legion Weekend. The theme is designed to relax players' pregame habits and give them a break with no pregame batting practice. … The Rays extended their club record with 12 consecutive games allowing three or fewer runs. … Yankees starter Shane Greene had a career-high 10 strikeouts. … Jeter's go-ahead single was his 12th career go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later, and his first since Oct. 2, 2010 at Boston.

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