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Minnesota at Tampa Bay

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Minnesota (59-47)000101000241
Tampa Bay (66-39) «00103000x4100

Hellickson wins big-league debut as Rays move into first-place tie

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jeremy Hellickson delivered in his one-game stint and probably earned a trip back to the majors for the playoff stretch run.

Hellickson won his major-league debut, Matt Joyce drove in a pair of runs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Minnesota 4-2 on Monday night to snap the Twins' eight-game winning streak.

The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Durham before the game and was optioned back afterward. The spot start was designed to give the entire rotation extra rest, but it also set up Hellickson to join the Rays' bullpen later this season.

"If he had thrown a no-hitter he's still going back," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "We had this planned out. This is what we think is the right thing to do. He did his job. We've got five nice starters that got an extra day of rest because of him with a win."

Hellickson (1-0) allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings, helping the Rays win for the ninth time in the last 10 games. Tampa Bay moved into first-place tie in the AL East with the New York Yankees, who lost 8-6 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I like it here a lot better, but I understand completely," Hellickson said. "I think I was more nervous walking out there than I was once I got on the mound."

Hellickson struck out six and walked two.

"A good-looking pitcher," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Real smooth. Looks like he handles it well."

Tampa Bay went up 4-1 in the fifth when Carl Crawford hit a run-scoring double and Joyce drove in two more off Carl Pavano (13-7) with a double during a 12-pitch at-bat. Joyce has 15 RBI over his last 17 games.

Jason Kubel homered and had two RBI for the Twins, while Pavano gave up four runs and nine hits over six innings. He had been 8-0 in his previous 10 starts.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer was out of the lineup for the second straight game after receiving a cortisone shot in his right shoulder on Saturday. The reigning American League MVP, dealing with tendinitis since he took a foul tip off the shoulder last month, could start Tuesday.

"He's OK. A little sore still from the shot," Gardenhire said. "He feels better. Give him another day and see where he's at."

Hellickson retired his first 10 batters before a one-out walk in the fourth to Alexi Casilla, who later scored to tie it the game on Kubel's single. Kubel cut the Twins deficit to 4-2 on a sixth-inning solo shot.

Dan Wheeler, the third Tampa Bay reliever, got the final two outs for his third save.

Evan Longoria put the Rays up 1-0 on an RBI single in the third. It stopped the Twins' streak of throwing 23 straight scoreless innings, after consecutive 4-0 wins over Seattle. The previous allowed run came in the sixth inning last Friday to the Mariners.

After three consecutive sellouts of 36,973 against the New York Yankees over the weekend, Monday's announced crowd was 17,689.

Notes

  • The Rays purchased the contract of INF Dan Johnson from Durham. He was hitting .303 with 30 homers and 95 RBI in 98 games.
  • Minnesota 1B Justin Morneau, out with a concussion since July 7, had a light workout in Minnesota.
  • Tampa Bay INF-OF Ben Zobrist (lower back stiffness) could be back in the lineup in the next couple days. He was hurt last Wednesday.
  • Rays 1B Carlos Pena (right foot soreness) is undergoing treatment and his return date is uncertain. The disabled list is still possible.
  • Twins bench coach Steve Liddle left the team following the death of his father and is expected to miss the four-game series.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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'If he had thrown a no-hitter he's still going back,' Joe Maddon says of Jeremy Hellickson.  (AP)
'If he had thrown a no-hitter he's still going back,' Joe Maddon says of Jeremy Hellickson. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Kubel
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

J. Hellickson
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 2
BB 2
K 6
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF4010012 .275
Alexi Casilla, 2B3100112 .270
Delmon Young, LF4010001 .334
Jason Kubel, RF4122011 .262
Michael Cuddyer, 1B3000111 .273
Jim Thome, DH4000033 .253
Danny Valencia, 3B4000001 .374
J.J. Hardy, SS2000110 .258
Drew Butera, C2000000 .179
Totals3024238  
Batting
HR - Jason Kubel (13, Hellickson)
RBI - Jason Kubel 2 (63)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Drew Butera (2, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carl Pavano (L,13-7) 6944240 3.32
Ron Mahay 0.2000010 3.41
Anthony Slama 0.1000210 8.10
Jesse Crain 0.2100110 3.07
Jose Mijares 0.1000010 2.63
IBB - Brignac by Jesse Crain
Pitches-Strikes - Carl Pavano 104-66, Ron Mahay 12-7, Anthony Slama 18-7, Jesse Crain 17-8, Jose Mijares 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carl Pavano 6-6, Ron Mahay 1-0, Jesse Crain 1-0
Batters Faced - Carl Pavano 27, Ron Mahay 2, Anthony Slama 3, Jesse Crain 4, Jose Mijares 1
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
John Jaso, C3110110 .272
   a- Kelly Shoppach, PH-C1000012 .200
Carl Crawford, LF4111012 .309
Evan Longoria, 3B2111200 .292
Willy Aybar, DH3000114 .257
Matt Joyce, RF4022012 .244
B.J. Upton, CF4030011 .232
Sean Rodriguez, 1B3000011 .256
Reid Brignac, 2B3110101 .270
Jason Bartlett, SS3010010 .240
Totals30410458  
a-struck out for Jaso in the 8th
Batting
2B - John Jaso (11, Pavano), Carl Crawford (23, Pavano), Matt Joyce (9, Pavano), B.J. Upton (26, Pavano)
SH - Sean Rodriguez (5), Jason Bartlett (9)
RBI - Carl Crawford (58), Evan Longoria (69), Matt Joyce 2 (20)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria (26), Matt Joyce 2 (19)
SB - Evan Longoria (15, 3rd base off Slama/Butera), B.J. Upton 3 (31, 2nd base off Pavano/Butera, 3rd base off Pavano/Butera, 3rd base off Crain/Butera), Reid Brignac (3, 2nd base off Crain/Butera)
CS - Matt Joyce (2, 2nd base by Pavano/Butera), Jason Bartlett (3, 2nd base by Pavano/Butera)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Wheeler-Bartlett-S. Rodriguez
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Hellickson (W,1-0) 7322261 2.57
Chad Qualls (H,5) 0.2100010 8.01
Randy Choate (H,11) 0.2000110 5.88
Dan Wheeler (S,3) 0.2000000 2.91
HBP - Butera (by Jeremy Hellickson)
WP - Jeremy Hellickson (1), Chad Qualls (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hellickson 107-64, Chad Qualls 10-9, Randy Choate 9-4, Dan Wheeler 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hellickson 11-4, Dan Wheeler 1-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Hellickson 27, Chad Qualls 3, Randy Choate 3, Dan Wheeler 1
Game Information
Attendance - 17689
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Chris Guccione