Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' Jeremy Hellickson bemoans few mistakes in strong outing

SEATTLE — RHP Jeremy Hellickson couldn't do anything about how well Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez pitched. But Hellickson was quite upset at the couple of mistakes he made in an otherwise solid outing that led to the 1-0 loss.

First, he didn't pay attention as Seattle SS Brendan Ryan broke for second after a third-inning single. Then he bounced a pitch, allowing Ryan to get to third. Then he left up a two-out, 2-and-0 changeup to Jesus Montero, who singled in the only run.

"It's very frustrating," Hellickson said. "We should still be playing right now. I can't make that mistake in that ballgame."

Otherwise Hellickson, who was 3-0, 0.92 in four starts vs. Seattle, pitched well, allowing the one run on five hits.

"(Hellickson) was great," manager Joe Maddon said. "How about that — you have to wear a 1-0 loss like that."

SCOTT HELD BACK: DH Luke Scott felt good enough to come off the disabled list, but the Rays decided to wait through the weekend, having him stay with Class A Charlotte — where he went 0-for-2 with a walk as the first baseman Wednesday — to get more at-bats and some time at first.

The Rays' reasoning was twofold. Not only did they want Scott, out since July 21 with a mild oblique strain, to get more reps and make sure he is fully healthy, they really don't have much opportunity for him to play with Evan Longoria handling DH duties.

Scott was disappointed when Maddon called him with the news but professional in how he handled it.

"Just being honest with him. Right now there's not enough at-bats for him," Maddon said. "We'd like him to just sharpen the bat up a little bit, play a little defense, get stretched out there in case we need him there, too. So just based on what was coming up right now, we thought it was the right way to go about it."

If Scott is more comfortable at first base, he could get time in place of Carlos Peña, or at least be used more often as a pinch-hitter if he can stay in the game.

PERFECT POINTS: With Wednesday's 0-for-3 performance, CF B.J. Upton is 3-for-31 against Felix Hernandez, his .097 the lowest average of any major-leaguer with 25 plate appearances vs. the "King." … Seattle manager Eric Wedge said he was sure part of Maddon's prolonged seventh-inning protest after his ejection was to disrupt Hernandez's rhythm: "I was just yelling at Joe to get … out of there, so (Hernandez) could go back to pitching."

MISCELLANY: LF Desmond Jennings' seven-game hitting streak ended when he struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. … Closer Fernando Rodney and setup man Joel Peralta were unavailable after working four straight games. … RHP Jeff Niemann came through his Tuesday rehab start with Charlotte fine and will move up to Triple-A Durham for two more, targeting a late August return from his mid-May broken leg. … Longoria is excited about going home to play in Anaheim, where he has a .426 average with four HRs and 13 RBIs in 13 games.

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