Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson limited the Kansas City Royals to just one run and scattered six hits over seven innings as the Rays defeated the Royals, 5-1, Monday night. Tampa is 9-2 in its last 11 games after an 8-2 road trip that included a perfect-game loss to Seattle's Felix Hernandez.
The young righty struck out six and lowered his season ERA to 3.28. It was Hellickson's first win at Tropicana Field since May 16.
Tampa struck first in the second inning when Elliot Johnson drove a two-out single to left-center to plate Sean Rodriguez. Kansas City answered in their half of the third. After Johnny Giavotella and Jarrod Dyson led off the frame with singles, Alcides Escobar grounded into a double play, but Alex Gordon's infield single scored Giavotella from third a batter later.
After Desmond Jennings led off the bottom of the third with a triple and scored one batter later on Royals pitcher Will Smith's wild pitch, the Rays broke things open in the fourth courtesy of a run-scoring single from Jose Lobaton and Jennings' RBI double to left. Jeff Keppinger tacked on a solo home run in the fifth, his sixth of the season, for the Rays' final tally.
The win moves Hellickson to 8-8 on the season. Will Smith (4-5) took the loss after lasting just 3.2 innings and allowing four earned runs on eight hits.