Throughout July, the Rays had benefited from excellent pitching and timely hitting as they had been 21-4 for the month. Unfortunately, that excellent month ended with a thud as the Rays were shutdown by Wade Miley and the Arizona Diamondbacks, falling by a score of 7-0.
The Diamondbacks struck early against starter Jeremy Hellickson, loading the bases with two outs in the first. Cody Ross brought in two runs with a base hit to left, giving the Diamondbacks an early lead. Eric Chavez turned on a 2-2 pitch for a two run homer in the third, and Arizona jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
Tampa finally got a scoring chance in the fourth, as Wil Myers reached on an infield single and Ben Zobrist doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. However, Miley escaped the jam by getting Sean Rodriguez to fly out to left, then struck out the recently recalled Ryan Roberts to end the threat.
Hellickson did not last long, departing after walking Chavez with one out in the fifth. Overall, he gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks in 4.1 innings of work. Hellickson threw 92 pitches in that time, and once again displayed his prior difficulties putting hitters away. After his recent run of success, hopefully this is just a blip on the radar.
Arizona tacked on another run in the top of the seventh. Chavez once again made his presence felt, driving in a run with a base hit to center. The Rays had another prime scoring opportunity in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with one out on two walks an an error, but they were once again unable to cash in. Heath Bell entered and got the Diamondbacks out of trouble, striking out Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria to end the inning.
The Diamondbacks tacked on runs in the eighth and ninth innings, and the Rays were unable to mount another threat as Arizona came away with a 7-0 victory. Zobrist was the lone bright spot for the Rays offense, going 2-4 with a double.