Another night, another loss that didn’t need to be. The Rays pitching staff once more gave up an early lead, only to leave Tampa Bay on the wrong side of the win/loss column. This time it was Jeremy Hellickson’s turn to crap the proverbial bed, after the offense jumped out to an early 5-0 lead thanks in part to a pair of back-to-back Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist solo shots in the first inning. The Rays have now fallen to 12-15 on the season, and seven games out of first place.
The Rays look to split the first full month of the 2013 season tonight, in the first game of a three game set against the Kansas City Royals. Expect a few familiar faces in the Royals lineup tonight — James Shields will get the start on the mound while Elliot Johnson will be playing second and hitting ninth.
For the 16th time this season, the Rays took the initial lead yet let it slip away to the Chicago White Sox. They are only 8-7 in those games and 10-13 overall. To add insult to injury, they are now 2-9 on the road in 2013. Ouch.
Hellickson got beat (relatively speaking, duh) by a team that’s averaged under two-runs per game in their previous six games. In the end, he posted a spotty 6 IP/5 H/5 R/5 ER/4 BB/8 K/1 HR slash line on 111 pitches (68 for strikes). Then again, Helly could have given up just three-runs and it really wouldn’t have mattered, especially when the offense could only muster two runs on five hits and four walks. 1-for-6 wRISP while stranding six on the bags? Yeesh.
Walking into the Trop Tuesday night, neither Phil Hughes nor David Price had earned their first win of the year. One thing was certain, barring a no-decision, one pitcher would potentially walk out of the Trop with his first win of the year. And though both pitchers kept their respective team in the game, Phil Hughes and the Yankees bested Tampa Bay, snapping the Rays four game winning streak.