BY: John Mamola / 620wdae.com
It was a case of one step forward two steps back for the Rays as the Baltimore Orioles jumped on Jeremy Hellickson early and salvage the final game of the three game series in Baltimore with a 4-2 win on Wednesday night. Hellickson struggles as of late continued as the Orioles middle of the order did enough damage where he lasted just 4 1/3 innings pitched allowing all four runs by Baltimore.
The Orioles offense struck on the 26 year old right hander as Hellickson loaded the bases with no outs in the Baltimore half of the opening frame. Adam Jones drove in the first Baltimore run on a grounder to shortstop where Yunel Escobar’s only play was the force at third base. Matt Wieters added another run in the inning with a sacrifice fly to right field, and the Orioles were off and running with a 2-0 lead.
The Rays offense answered the call from an unlikely source in the top half of the second inning. Jason Bourgeois crushed his first home run of the season deep into the left field stands cutting the Orioles lead to 2-1. The Orioles came right back with a solo shot of their own as Adam Jones went deep to center for a solo shot of his own giving the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
The Rays offense once again took a step forward as Sean Rodriguez blasted a solo home run in the Rays half of the fourth inning to cut the lead to 3-2 Baltimore. However once again the Rays took two steps back, as Chris Davis blasted his 46th home run of the season to make it a 4-2 contest.
Orioles started Wei-Yin Chen held the Rays in check retiring the last twelve batters he faced. Chen earns his seventh win of the season for Baltimore after losing his last three starts. Hellickson falls for the fourth time in his last five starts, and now is 10-7 on the season.
The Rays return home to face off with the red hot New York Yankees, who have won five of their last six games. You can catch all the action on Friday night from Tropicana Field on WDAE beginning at 6:30pm with the pre-game, and a 7:10pm first pitch. The Rays have not announced who they will throw as of yet as Roberto Hernandez was in the bullpen to replace Hellickson if needed. New York will counter with Hiroki Kuroda.