Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays lose 4-0 to Baltimore Orioles, end three-game winning streak

ST. PETERSBURG — Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson felt a lot better physically Saturday night than he did in his last start, when he pitched six shutout innings in Anaheim despite throwing up several times.

But when it came down to execution, Hellickson wasn't his usual self in a 4-0 loss to the Orioles in front of 20,612 at Tropicana Field, snapping the Rays' three-game winning streak. He allowed four runs, all with two outs, while walking three in just four innings, just the third time this season he has given up more than three runs.

"Helly just had an off night," manager Joe Maddon said. "That kind of put us behind the eight ball a little bit. … We set a bad tone for the game early. Helly just had a difficult night."

This one wasn't all on Hellickson, as the Rays (56-51) mustered just five hits against Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen and got shut out for the fourth time this season. The Rays defense was sharp, including rightfielder Sam Fuld throwing out Matt Wieters at the plate to end the third, and the bullpen was spectacular with five shutout innings. But the Orioles (56-51) were better.

"They flat-out beat us tonight," Maddon said.

The Orioles battled from the beginning, with leadoff hitter Nick Markakis working a nine-pitch walk to start a first-inning rally that led to a run on two well-placed two-out singles.

"They made me work a little bit, and I threw a lot of pitches in the first inning, so they saw everything," Hellickson said. "I thought I made some really good pitches that they fouled off."

Maddon said Hellickson wasn't as aggressive as he had been in previous starts and was more "tap-dancing" around the strike zone. The Orioles made him pay with clutch hits, including Chris Davis' two-run, two-out single with the bases loaded in the fourth.

"I just couldn't make a big pitch when I needed to," Hellickson said.

Chen, however, had the Rays a bit off-balance, scattering five hits over seven shutout innings. Maddon said Chen was able to throw his fastball down and away for a strike consistently and was better with his breaking stuff.

DH Jeff Keppinger, who stranded a runner on second twice, put it more simply: "It's the same old thing: We just didn't come up with the big hit. Our pitchers kept us in the game, we just couldn't get the big hit."

The Rays bullpen continued its stellar stretch and has now allowed just two runs in its past 48 innings. Lefty J.P. Howell struck out four of the six batters he faced, extending his scoreless-innings streak to 20, and Burke Badenhop tossed two shutout innings of his own.

"Outstanding," Maddon said.

Tampa Bay still feels good entering today's matinee with Baltimore, knowing it has a chance to win its fourth consecutive series, with ace lefty David Price on the mound.

Said Keppinger: "It's not so much we're sweeping every series, but if you can keep winning series, it'll turn out in your favor in the end."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

 
Comments
Rays’ Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Rays’ Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

RHP Ryne Stanek continues to look comfortable and confident as the game opener, retiring all five batters he faced. His six starts now cover a complete game, and he has allowed only two runs in the nine innings.OF Carlos Gomez's feelings about not li...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

UPDATE, 6:40: Cash said he had a good talk with Hechavarria, and that he understood the situation. Cash said Hechavarria will get to play some, and when he does it will be at short. … RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) is slated to throw a bul...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

CF Kevin Kiermaier is here in Houston and will work out with the Rays today, and said that if all goes well he will be activated on Tuesday.That would be a couple days ahead of his most recent timetable, which had him slated to return to Friday.Kierm...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Published: 06/18/18
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays. The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last ...
Published: 06/18/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

The Rays remain committed to using an "opener" three times in five game stretches, but that seems to tax the bullpen too much. Wilmer Font showed Sunday that he should be able to handle starting, at least until Chris Archer returns.It was only one wi...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays.The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last week’s p...
Published: 06/17/18

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

The Rays remain committed to using an "opener" three times in five game stretches, but that seems to tax the bullpen too much. Wilmer Font showed Sunday that he should be able to handle starting, at least until Chris Archer returns.e_SClBIt was only ...
Published: 06/17/18
Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

NEW YORK — You had seen this game before.So had the radio guys, the coaches, the manager, the players and, certainly, the bosses.The Rays grab an early lead over the Yankees. They look like they are headed to a rare win in the Bronx. And then when th...
Published: 06/17/18