Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Jeremy Hellickson goes deep enough to earn first win in a month

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jeremy Hellickson wanted to do more.

With the Rays bullpen working 6⅓ innings in relief of struggling rookie Matt Moore on Saturday, Hellickson wanted to stay in Sunday's game as long as he could.

But 5⅔ shutout innings were enough. Enough to lead the Rays to a win they had to have, and enough to get Hellickson his first victory since Aug. 20, a span of six starts.

"That was the goal," Hellickson said. "I would like to have gone a little deeper because the bullpen had a long day (Saturday)."

The win improved Hellickson to 9-10 and lowered his ERA to 3.20, seventh best in the American League. He has had trouble getting deep into games this season, failing to complete six innings in 12 of his 29 starts, including nine of his past 18. He also hasn't pitched with much luck, allowing three runs or fewer 25 times (third most in the AL) and having only nine wins to show for it.

Sunday's performance was a bit atypical in that he got nine of his 17 outs on ground balls since he is considered a fly-ball pitcher. "They just hit it on the ground," he said. "I've been getting more ground balls this year. I'm keeping the ball down."

GLOVE LOVE: There were a series of dazzling defensive plays Sunday. LHP J.P. Howell had one, 1B Carlos Peña had one, 3B Evan Longoria had a couple.

"That was beautiful," manager Joe Maddon said. "That's more what we're supposed to look like. That's what we looked like over the past couple of years, a combination of the great pitching and part of the great pitching is you make plays like that. That was outstanding. It was fun to watch and definitely something in our recent past. We've got to do more like that."

SAME-SAME: Though today's day off provides a welcome break, Maddon said he wished they were playing just to keep their emotional roll going. When they do reconvene in Boston on Tuesday, Maddon plans to keep the same relaxed atmosphere with pregame work optional.

"I would hope nothing changes," he said. "My God, it's not going to change for me, I'm telling you that. Seriously, I don't want anything to change."

PITCHING IN: Moore, despite working four or fewer innings in three straight starts, will stay in the rotation and is lined up to pitch Friday in Chicago. Rookie RHP Chris Archer was an option to replace him. After starting LHP David Price and RHP Alex Cobb in Boston, the Rays are set to throw RHP James Shields, Moore, Hellickson and Price at the White Sox.

CATCHING ON: Though rookie Stephen Vogt was 0-for-2 to extend his team-record career-starting hitless streak to 21 at-bats, he did accomplish something, making his first big-league start behind the plate. "I thought he caught really well," Maddon said, and also praised the quality of his at-bats. ... Veteran Jose Molina replaced Vogt in the seventh, the career-high 16th consecutive game he appeared in.

MISCELLANY: RHP Fernando Rodney logged his 44th save, one shy of Rafael Soriano's 2010 team record. … The Rays had one or no hits through four innings for the 31st time this season. … OF Matt Joyce said he was honored to have his first bobblehead, though he noted "he had a better tan than I do." … The Rays finished 14-4 vs. the Blue Jays.

Tampa Bay Rays' Jeremy Hellickson goes deep enough to earn first win in a month 09/23/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 23, 2012 9:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)

    Golf

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  2. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, acitvate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  3. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    The Austin Pruitt experiment might be over, or at least put on pause. After allowing six runs over seven innings to Seattle on Friday, the rookie didn't get through the fourth Wednesday, giving up five runs on four homers. His ERA for past six starts: 5.29.

  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.