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Rays' Hellickson sets club mark, shackles Orioles

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays are determined to stick with their plan for Jeremy Hellickson, no matter how well does as a starter.

Hellickson threw six sharp innings to become the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win his first three major league starts, and the Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Sunday.

"I felt really good out there," he said. "Maybe not as good as the first two starts, but I settled down after the third inning."

Rays starters Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis, sidelined by right shoulder strains, will throw off a mound Monday and could be ready to return in the next two weeks. When the pair rejoin the rotation, the Rays currently plan to have Hellickson and Andy Sonnanstine switch to relief roles.

"I really, firmly, believe in when you make plans you stay with your plans and you only adjust when you have to," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "For right now we're still on task and schedule."

Hellickson (3-0) allowed one run and three hits, becoming the first player since 1920 to pitch at least six innings and give up three or less hits in each of his first three games. The right-hander has yielded three runs and nine hits over 20 innings in the majors.

"He utilized changeups right and left," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "It's unusual to see a guy with that good of a changeup that will attack right-handers with it. It's a testament to the type of the stuff the young man has."

Carl Crawford homered and drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, a sluggish 4-7 in its last 11 games.

Jake Fox went deep for the Orioles, who were trying to win four consecutive series for the first time since August 3-15, 2004. Jake Arrieta (4-4) gave up three runs and six hits over six innings.

Baltimore has lost two in a row for the first time under Showalter, who is 9-4 overall since taking over on August 3. The Orioles, 17-43 away from Camden Yards this season, went 3-3 on a six-game road trip.

"We don't look at 'X' number of games won on a road trip is a success or failure," Showalter said. "You don't ever think, well, we're just playing with house money today."

Rafael Soriano, the third Tampa Bay reliever, pitched the ninth for his 33rd save, completing the five-hitter. The Rays limited Baltimore to four hits in a 7-3 victory on Saturday.

Crawford hit his 13th homer in the first and singled in a run in Tampa Bay's two-run third. Matt Joyce's RBI double made it 3-1.

Felix Pie hit a sacrifice fly in the second for Baltimore, and Fox hit his sixth homer off Dan Wheeler in the seventh.

Rays right-hander Joaquin Benoit gave up a two-out triple in the eighth to Nick Markakis, but worked out of trouble by striking out Ty Wigginton, who had his 11-game hitting streak end.

Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria made a nifty sliding catch near the wall on Markakis' foul ball in the first.

Notes

  • The AL wild card-leading Rays will have David Price (15-5) on the mound Monday night for the opener of a three-game series against AL West-leading Texas. Cliff Lee (10-5) is scheduled to pitch for the Rangers.
  • Orioles RHP Jason Berken will have an MRI exam Monday on his right shoulder.
  • Longoria has not homered in his last 17 games, and has gone deep just three times over his past 49 games.
 
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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Jeremy Hellickson becomes the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win his first three starts in the majors.  (AP)
Jeremy Hellickson becomes the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win his first three starts in the majors. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

C. Crawford
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Baltimore

J. Fox
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Julio Lugo, 2B-3B4010000 .252
Nick Markakis, RF4010001 .288
Ty Wigginton, 1B3000111 .258
Luke Scott, DH4110021 .293
Adam Jones, CF4010001 .281
Felix Pie, LF3001012 .288
Jake Fox, 3B-C3111012 .223
Cesar Izturis, SS3000000 .243
Craig Tatum, C2000010 .264
   a- Brian Roberts, PH-2B1000010 .253
Totals3125217  
a-struck out for Tatum in the 8th
Batting
2B - Luke Scott (24, Hellickson)
3B - Nick Markakis (2, Benoit)
HR - Jake Fox (6, Wheeler)
SF - Felix Pie (2)
RBI - Felix Pie (15), Jake Fox (18)
2-OUT RBI - Jake Fox (9)
Team LOB - 4
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Arrieta (L,4-4) 6633321 5.23
Mark Hendrickson 0.2100200 5.04
Armando Gabino 1.1100100 5.40
WP - Jake Arrieta (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Arrieta 114-63, Mark Hendrickson 22-10, Armando Gabino 22-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Arrieta 9-6, Armando Gabino 1-3
Batters Faced - Jake Arrieta 26, Mark Hendrickson 4, Armando Gabino 6
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
John Jaso, C3110101 .270
Ben Zobrist, 2B-1B1100301 .256
Carl Crawford, LF4132000 .300
Evan Longoria, 3B4010014 .286
Matt Joyce, RF4011001 .223
Willy Aybar, DH3010100 .248
    Sean Rodriguez, PR-DH-2B0000000 .263
Dan Johnson, 1B3000103 .111
B.J. Upton, CF4010012 .238
Jason Bartlett, SS4000003 .245
Totals3038362  
Batting
2B - Matt Joyce (11, Arrieta), Willy Aybar (12, Gabino), B.J. Upton (29, Arrieta)
HR - Carl Crawford (13, Arrieta)
RBI - Carl Crawford 2 (61), Matt Joyce (24)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (16), Matt Joyce (20)
PK - Ben Zobrist (2, Arrieta)
Team LOB - 9
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Hellickson (W,3-0) 6311150 1.35
Dan Wheeler (H,7) 1111001 2.79
Joaquin Benoit (H,19) 1100020 1.24
Rafael Soriano (S,33) 1000000 1.77
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hellickson 97-60, Dan Wheeler 13-9, Joaquin Benoit 23-12, Rafael Soriano 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hellickson 2-11, Dan Wheeler 1-2
Batters Faced - Jeremy Hellickson 22, Dan Wheeler 4, Joaquin Benoit 4, Rafael Soriano 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29654
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Brian Knight