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Hellickson Returns & Myers Powers Rays To 3-1 Victory

The Tampa Bay Rays improved their record to 77-61 by defeating the L.A. Angels by a final score of 3-1. It was Jeremy Hellickson [1]‘s first victory since July 26th.

The Rays remain 4.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox who trounced the Detroit Tigers 20-4. They remain 2.5 games behind both the Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers for the top wild card spot as the A’s defeated the Rangers 11-4 to draw even in the AL West. They maintained their 2.5 games lead on the New York Yankees who defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-5.

The Rays got their three runs on a the strength of two home runs by Wil Myers [2]. He hit a solo home run in the 2nd inning and a 2-run shot in the top of the 7th. It was the second time this season that Myers has hit 2-homers in a game. On July 28th in Yankee Stadium he connected on a pair of homers against Phil Hughes [3].

Helly_LAA_SEPT [4]Jeremy Hellickson [1] (11-8, 5.04 ERA) was making his first start since allowing 5 runs on 7 hits in just 2.2 innings versus the Kansas City Royals on August 26th.  His start against the Royals continued a string of 6 depressing starts dating back to July 31 and over that span he went 0-5 with a 9.00 ERA (25IP/25ER). His performance resulted on his being sent to the High A Charlotte Stone Crabs for a mental break which last 7 full days.

Before the game Joe Maddon [5] expressed a desire to have Hellickson duplicate the outing that Matt Moore [6] delivered last night (5.1 innings, 1 run, and depart with a lead).  He got what he wanted as Hellickson delivered 5.1 innings of scoreless baseball allowing just 4 hits striking out 4 and walking just 2. Hellickson made 71 pitches of which 64.8 (45 of 71) were strikes. He threw 21 two-seam fastballs, 10  four-seam fastballs, 29 change ups, and 9 curveballs.

The Rays bullpen was called upon to take the Rays to the finish line. Alex Torres [7] took over for Hellickson with Mike Trout [8] at 2nd and 1-out in the bottom of the 6th inning and Josh Hamilton [9] at the plate. He retired Hamilton on a ground out, hit Kole Calhoun [10] with a pitch, and retired Mark Trumbo [11] on a ground out to end the inning. He has now allowed only 19% (4 of 21) inherited runners to score.

Jake McGee [12] came in to work the 7th inning and immediately allowed a pinch hit solo homer to Chris Iannetta [13] to cut the Rays lead to 3-1 but that would be all that they would get against McGee. It was the 8th home run allowed by McGee this year which leads all Rays relievers.

Joel Peralta [14] came in to work a scoreless 8th inning including freezing Mike Trout [8] on a called 3rd strike allowing only a single to Josh Hamilton [9].

Fernando Rodney [15] came in with a 3-1 lead and earned his 32nd save by getting Mark Trumbo [11] and Chris Iannetta [13] to strike out swinging and retired Luis Jimenez [16] on a fly out to right fielder Sam Fuld [17].

The Rays and Angles will finish their 2013 match up tomorrow evening at 10:10. The Rays will be looking to take 3 out of 4 in the series and David Price [18] (8-6, 3.30 ERA) will take the and the Angels will counter with  Jerome Williams [19] (5-10, 4.68 ERA).