Rays 3, Orioles 2 – Rays take series 2-1
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Jeremy Hellickson won for the third time in as many tries in his short time in the majors, tossing six innings of one-run ball to give Tampa Bay a series win over the rising Orioles via a 3-2 decision at Tropicana Field.
Carl Crawford homered and added an RBI single amid a 3-for-4 afternoon and Matt Joyce connected for the decisive double in the third inning to score Ben Zobrist.
Hellickson (3-0) continued to impress in just his third career start, scattering three hits with a walk and five strikeouts. His earned-run average actually rose from 1.29 to 1.35 because the young right-hander had shut out Detroit for seven innings his last time out and went seven frames in beating the Twins in his major league debut on August 2.
It was just the Rays’ fourth win in 11 games overall. Rafael Soriano closed things out in the ninth for his 33rd save of the season.
Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta (4-4) was reached for six hits and three runs in six innings for the Orioles, who lost their first series under new manager Buck Showalter. The O’s had won series against the Angels, White Sox and Indians since Showalter took over on August 3.
Crawford started the scoring with a two-out solo home run in the first just after Zobrist was picked off at first. Luke Scott led off the Baltimore second with a double, moved up on a fly ball to center and scored on Felix Pie’s sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Tampa Bay got all they would need the rest of the way with a two-run third. John Jaso singled and stole second. Zobrist followed with a walk and Crawford brought in a run with a base hit into left field. Zobrist then came around to make it 3-1 on Joyce’s two-out double. The Rays hoped for more after Willy Aybar walked to load the bases but Dan Johnson grounded out.
Ty Wigginton drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half and Adam Jones made it first and second with a single. Hellickson recovered nicely to get Pie and Jake Fox swinging to end the inning.
Baltimore went quietly in the fifth and sixth innings but Fox made it a one- run game with a two-out solo homer in the seventh off Dan Wheeler. Joaquin Benoit got Wigginton swinging to end the eighth and strand Nick Markakis at third after his second triple of the year.
Soriano induced three fly outs in the ninth to preserve the win.
The Orioles went 3-3 on a six-game road trip and next return home for three with Seattle starting Monday … Wigginton had an 11-game hitting streak snapped … Crawford hit his 13th homer of the season and Fox his sixth … Soriano is tied with Kansas City closer Joakim Soria for the AL lead in saves … The Rays were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position … Tampa Bay will continue its homestand Monday with the first of three against Texas.