Like so many of Jeremy Hellickson‘s starts this year the game seemed to fall apart in the span of a few pitches. One time the culprit was his defense and his lack of control and focus with 2-outs in another. Hellickson took the loss as the Rays fell to the Toronto Blue Jays by a final score of 6-3.
Hellickson’s record falls t0 12-10 with a 5.17 ERA and R.A. Dickey earned the victory to push his record to 14-13 with a 4.21 ERA. Sergio Santos picked up his 1st save of the year working the final 1.2 innings.
The loss drops the Rays into a tie with the Cleveland Indians for the top spot in the wild card race as the Tribe defeated the Minnesota Twins 12-6. The Texas Rangers improved their playoff position by defeating the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 and are only 1-game behind both the Indians and Rays.
The game got off to a good start for the Rays as Jeremy Hellickson retired the first nine Blue Jays he faced and Ben Zobrist and Delmon Young gave him a 2-0 lead with solo home runs off Jays starter R.A. Dickey.
The game turned for the worse in the 4th inning.
Jose Reyes opened the inning with a single, advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Munenori Kawasaki. Brett Lawrie reached first on an error by Evan Longoria and back to back singles by Moises Sierra and Anthony Gose drove in both Reyes and Lawrie to pull the Blue Jays even at 2-2.
After Hellickson struck out Mark DeRosa he was unable to get out of the inning as Ryan Goins sent a hard single up the middle that Sam Fuld aggressively charged to try to make a throw to the plate but lifted his glove to early and allowed the ball to go all the way to the wall. Both Sierra and Gose came in to score to put the Blue Jays up 4-2. Goins tried to make it an inside the park home run but was nailed at the plate to end the inning.
Hellickson got himself into trouble in the bottom of the 5th inning. After retiring the first two hitters he issued back to back walks to Jose Reyes and Munenori Kawasaki. Reyes came in to score on a single by Brett Lawrie and Kawasaki came in on a hard hit ball by Moises Sierra that Evan Longoria made a diving stab at but was unable to get a good grip and threw wildly to first for the error.
Sierra would be the last batter Hellickson faced finishing the night allowing 6R/3ER on 6 hits striking out 5 and walking 2. Wesley Wright, Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, Roberto Hernandez, and Jeff Beliveau combined to hold the Blue Jays scoreless for 2.1 innings and the Rays offense mounted a rally in the top of the 8th.
The Blue Jays defense almost let the Rays back in the game as Jose Reyes couldn’t handle a Jose Lobaton liner and R.A. Dickey’s errant throw allowed Wil Myers to reach to put runners at 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Both runners moved out as Matt Joyce grounded out to first base.
The Rays cut the lead to 6-3 on a RBI double by Kelly Johnson off Sergio Santos in the top of the 9th.