Hellickson, Rays shoot for split in Baltimore
(SportsNetwork.com) - Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay Rays will try to earn a split with the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday evening in the finale of a four-game series at Camden Yards.
The Rays plated just three runs in losing the first two games of this set and didn't exactly break out at the plate on Wednesday night. However, thanks to another solid effort by Drew Smyly, limited offense was enough for a 3-1 win.
Smyly hurled seven frames of one-run ball, striking out six while giving up just two hits. He was coming off a start last Friday in which he recorded his first complete game by retiring the final 19 batters faced.
"It's really encouraging to get off to a good start," said Smyly, who was acquired as part of the package that sent starter David Price to Detroit. "Really since the All-Star break I've felt like I have turned the page and done pretty well."
Ben Zobrist, Wil Myers and Matt Joyce each drove in a run for the Rays.
Chris Davis hit a solo homer for the Orioles, who still lead the Yankees by six games for first place in the AL East.
Kevin Gausman allowed three runs -- two earned -- on six hits over four innings, matching the shortest outing of his career.
"It's definitely different being a starter this year," said Gausman. "I feel fine, my arm feels fine. I'll never use that as an excuse."
Hellickson will try to pitch the Rays into the win column again as he makes his eighth start of the year tonight.
The right-hander is coming off a no-decision at Toronto on Saturday as he yielded two runs on three hits and one walk over 6 1/3 innings while striking out a season-high eight.
"(Hellickson) did a great job. He pitched well. Really well, actually," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We had opportunities to add on, but we didn't do that once again."
Hellickson has given up more than three runs in just one start this season, one that began late for the hurler due to an elbow injury. He is 1-2 with a 2.61 earned run average on the year.
The 27-year-old has faced the Orioles 17 times, 15 of those starts, going 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA.
Bud Norris will go for Baltimore and should have plenty in the tank after a rain delay cut his last outing short on Saturday versus the Chicago Cubs. However, Norris yielded four runs before his exit and took the loss, one that was his first since July 26 and snapped a three-start win streak for the righty.
Norris is 11-8 with a 3.91 ERA on the year and the 29-year-old has gone 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA in five career meetings with the Rays, including four starts.
The O's are 10-5 against the Rays this season.
08/28 10:32:15 ET