Jeremy Hellickson Continues Great Form for Tampa Bay Rays in Win Over Toronto Blue Jays
The 26-year-old threw five strong innings, giving up just two earned runs and striking out three to secure another win and improve his record to 9-3 in what has been a very encouraging season for the right-hander.
Hellickson has taken on the responsibility of being the Rays’ second pitcher this year behind David Price and was once again solid on the mound as he threw 91 pitches in this game.
He was backed by some superb Rays offense, with every player except Jose Molina collecting a hit in what was an offensive explosion against Jays starter Mark Buehrle. The Rays collected 12 hits overall, helped also by a throwing error by Jays second baseman Brett Lawrie.
Center fielder Desmond Jennings led the way for the Rays in the leadoff spot, collecting three hits and a walk to score in the first and third innings as Tampa Bay moved ahead early. Jennings crossed the plate as part of a three-run third inning, with Sam Fuld and Evan Longoria also coming in to score.
Hellickson would concede his first run later that frame from a solo home run by Jose Bautista, with Jose Reyes the other run to score in the fifth. However, the starter stayed strong and in combination with three relievers did enough to pick up the win.
With the Rays now just 2.5 games behind the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, the performances of key pitchers like Hellickson will be key in helping their push for the postseason in the second half of the regular season.