Tampa Bay at Seattle

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (30-28) «030000000370
Seattle (30-28)000000020241

Hellickson continues dominance, shuts down Mariners

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SEATTLE -- Jeremy Hellickson used his fastball and deceptive changeup to record another victory for Tampa Bay.

It looked a lot like last month.

Hellickson picked up where he left off in May, pitching neatly into the eighth inning to lead the Rays to a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

"I liked his fastball today," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "To me, from the side, he didn't have his typical great changeup so I liked the fastball usage.

More on Rays at Mariners

Updating MLB news | Follow on Twitter

"That's the thing with a guy like him. When they have a good other pitch, they always want to go there often and that's fine, but if you just conceal that a little bit more, when you have to go to it it's an even better pitch. So that's why I like when he throws his fastball."

Hellickson (7-3) allowed one run and three hits over 7 1/3 innings, improving to 6-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his last seven starts. The 6-foot-1 right-hander collected five wins and gave up just six earned runs in 40 1/3 innings in May, earning the AL pitcher of the month award.

Hellickson struggled with his changeup early on, bouncing a handful in the dirt, but eventually settled down. He retired 16 of his last 17 batters.

"I felt great," he said. "I felt like I had command of my changeup. I bounced about five in a row there in the first inning. It came around the last few innings and we made a ton of great plays today."

Joel Peralta replaced Hellickson in the eighth and yielded a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Miguel Olivo, cutting Tampa Bay's lead to 3-2. But Peralta got Ichiro Suzuki to fly out to end the inning and Kyle Farnsworth finished for his 11th save in 12 chances.

"I threw a lot of fastballs early," Hellickson said. "It's easy to throw strikes when you are up 3-0 after the second inning."

Tampa Bay got all the offense it needed in the second, taking advantage of a trio of bloop singles and a pair of walks off Doug Fister (3-6).

With two outs and runners on first and second, Fister allowed a flare to center by Johnny Damon that drove in a run. Damon managed to take an extra base when both middle infielders, Adam Kennedy and Brendan Ryan, chased the looping fly ball, leaving no one to cover second.

Ben Zobrist followed with a two-run single into center field to give the Rays a 3-0 cushion.

"We used the bloop hit to spark rallies and Zobrist had a great swing on a pitch that was almost impossible to hit," Damon said.

"Sometimes you have to be lucky and hopefully that means we can get going on a streak here soon."

Seattle had a chance to score in the fourth but Justin Smoak was called out by plate umpire Darryl Cousins when he tried to come home on Kennedy's fly ball to right. Smoak appeared to get in just ahead of the tag after Matt Joyce made a strong throw to the plate.

Smoak's leadoff double in the fourth was the Mariners' first legitimate hit off Hellickson, who struck out four and walked one. Carlos Peguero earned a single in the second on a fly ball to left that Sam Fuld lost the ball in the sun and dropped in off his hip.

"We were never able to get anything going against this kid," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Hellickson. "He had a good fastball. He pitched, he located the ball and threw a good ballgame."

Peguero added a double in the eighth and scored on Olivo's sixth homer of the season.

Notes

  • Rays 3B Evan Longoria left in the fourth inning with tightness in his left side he noticed while making throws to first base. He is day to day. Maddon said the move was precautionary.
  • Tampa Bay 1B Casey Kotchman returned to the lineup for the first time since Sunday, when he left with an ankle injury. He went 0 for 4.
  • Maddon said Andy Sonnanstine would return to the bullpen after allowing seven runs in five innings Friday night. Alex Cobb will replace Sonnanstine in the starting rotation.
  • Olivo has three career pinch-hit homers.
  • Seattle's David Pauley got six outs to extend his scoreless streak to 18 innings.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Young Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson is 6-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his last seven starts.  (Getty Images)
Young Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson is 6-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his last seven starts. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Damon
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Seattle

M. Olivo
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

Related Video

December 22, 2014
Saints at Buccaneers Preview (3:06)
December 23, 2014
Fantasy Update: Russell Wilson
(0:35)
December 22, 2014
Rams at Seahawks Preview
(3:23)
December 16, 2014
La Canfora previews Seahawks at Cardinals
(3:43)
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Johnny Damon, DH5121010 .279
Ben Zobrist, 2B5022010 .255
Matt Joyce, RF3000113 .350
Evan Longoria, 3B2010002 .239
    Sean Rodriguez, 3B2000012 .217
Casey Kotchman, 1B4000004 .350
B.J. Upton, CF2000200 .228
Sam Fuld, LF3110110 .236
John Jaso, C3110100 .216
Reid Brignac, SS4000014 .167
Totals3337356  
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon (8, Fister)
RBI - Johnny Damon (31), Ben Zobrist 2 (32)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (7), Ben Zobrist 2 (7)
CS - B.J. Upton (4, 2nd base by Pauley/Gimenez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Matt Joyce 1
DP - Joyce-Jaso
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Hellickson (W,7-3) 7.1311140 2.64
Joel Peralta (H,9) 0.2111001 3.49
Kyle Farnsworth (S,11) 1000010 1.35
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hellickson 108-72, Joel Peralta 10-8, Kyle Farnsworth 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hellickson 5-12, Joel Peralta 1-1, Kyle Farnsworth 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Hellickson 25, Joel Peralta 3, Kyle Farnsworth 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4000000 .261
Brendan Ryan, SS4000030 .262
Justin Smoak, 1B4010010 .249
Jack Cust, DH3000101 .229
Adam Kennedy, 2B3000002 .293
Franklin Gutierrez, CF3000001 .176
Carlos Peguero, LF3120000 .203
Chone Figgins, 3B3000013 .184
Chris Gimenez, C2000000 .188
   a- Miguel Olivo, PH-C1112000 .251
Totals3024215  
a-homered for Gimenez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Justin Smoak (13, Hellickson), Carlos Peguero (2, Hellickson)
HR - Miguel Olivo (6, Peralta)
RBI - Miguel Olivo 2 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Olivo 2 (9)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Franklin Gutierrez 1
E - Justin Smoak (3, Dropped line drive)
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Doug Fister (L,3-6) 7733460 3.29
David Pauley 2000100 0.76
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 112-71, David Pauley 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 7-8, David Pauley 5-0
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 32, David Pauley 6
Game Information
Attendance - 28843
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Mark Ripperger, Third Base - Jim Wolf