Sometimes, it’s easy to tell if a pitcher just does not have anything heading into the start. There can be times when a pitcher just is not fooling anyone, and gets hit around the ballpark. This was one of those types of nights for Jeremy Hellickson.
Hellickson was in trouble right from the start, as the Baltimore Orioles loaded the bases without any outs in the bottom of the first. The Orioles got a run as Adam Jones grounded sharply into the hole at short, but Yunel Escobar made a nice play to force the runner at third. After a double steal, Matt Wieters hit a sacrifice fly that put Baltimore on top 2-0.
The Rays got a run back in the top of the second off starter Wei-Yin Chen. Jason Bourgeois hammered a 2-1 pitch to left for his first home run since July 31, 2011 to cut the lead in half. However, the Orioles came back. After Hellickson worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the inning, Jones crushed a fastball to center to give the Orioles a two run lead once again.
Again, the Rays fought back, getting a home run from Sean Rodriguez to cut the lead back to one. And once again, Hellickson was victimized by the long ball, as Chris Davis hit a shot onto Eutaw Street in the fifth inning, giving the Orioles a two run advantage. After a base hit and an out, that was all for Hellickson, who departed after 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks. For the fourth time in five starts, Hellickson failed to get through the fifth inning.
Cesar Ramos and Alex Torres did an excellent job for the Rays to keep them within striking distance, but Chen and Darren O’Day held the Tampa bats in check. The Rays did not have a baserunner from the fourth until Wil Myers singled to lead off the top of the ninth. James Loney followed with a pinch hit walk after a twelve pitch at bat, and after a fly out and a fielder’s choice, the Rays had runners on first and third with two outs. On an 0-1 pitch, Kelly Johnson took off for second, and was gunned out by Wieters for the final out of the game.