Hellickson goes for Rays in opener with RoyalsAug 20, 2012 - 2:53 PM
The 25-year-old, who won 13 of 23 decisions across 29 starts last year, was 4-6 this year after dropping a 3-1 decision to Boston on July 13.
He's won three times across six times since, including a 12-6 defeat of the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 10, during which he allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings.
In one start since, he took a tough-luck 1-0 loss at Seattle after allowing a run on five hits in seven innings on Aug. 15. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game to beat him, striking out 12 Rays batters.
Hellickson has a 1.08 in 8 1/3 innings in two career appearances against Kansas City.
The Royals counter with rookie lefty Will Smith, who makes his 10th big-league start and first against the Rays.
The 23-year-old Georgia native was 1-3 through his initial four starts but has since three of four decisions since late July to even his record at 4-4.
He's won his last two starts in succession against Baltimore and Oakland while allowing 11 hits and four runs in 14 innings.
Kansas City is 4-5 in games Smith has pitched.
On Sunday in Kansas City, Salvador Perez's go-ahead RBI single in the eighth came an inning after Jeremy Guthrie's no-hit bid was lost to a scoring decision and the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox for the third day in a row, 5-2.
Guthrie stretched his personal shutout streak to 22 innings but didn't come away with the win. He had a no-hitter going until Paul Konerko reached on an infield single with two outs in the seventh when first baseman Eric Hosmer couldn't snare Alcides Escobar's deep throw from the hole at short.
The 33-year-old righty came out after allowing back-to-back singles in the eighth and the bullpen gave up two unearned runs charged to him, but Perez's hit in the bottom of the inning keyed a three-run KC rally.
Greg Holland (6-3) got four straight outs for the win, the Royals' ninth in their last 12 games to finish a six-game homestand 5-1.
In Anaheim, the Rays had their way with the Angels this season, the last example coming when they lit up Zack Greinke en route to an 8-3 win to complete a four-game sweep.
Matt Joyce hit a two-run single during Tampa Bay's four-run second inning, and Ryan Roberts added a two-run homer in the fifth to highlight an offense that outscored the Angels, 37-14, in the series.
Matt Moore (10-7) allowed five hits - including two solo homers - and two walks while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings to pick up the victory.
"It's a different game when you have early run support," Moore said. "I was able to attack with a few more fastballs. I was happy with the tempo and the way things went."
Tampa Bay took the season series, 9-1, and has won 11 of its last 13 overall.
The Royals swept a three-game series from the Rays in June in Kansas City. Tampa Bay won the season series in 2011, five games to two.
- KANSAS CITY: 1
TAMPA BAY: 5
Aug 20 9:57 PM
- Jeff Keppinger one-out, solo Home Run (6) to left. Ryan Roberts due up.
Royals 1, Rays 5 Bot 5, 1 OutAug 20 8:43 PM
- Desmond Jennings doubled in Jose Lobaton. On the play, Elliot Johnson out at home. Runner on second with two outs and B.J. Upton due up.
Royals 1, Rays 4 Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 20 8:33 PM
- Jose Lobaton singled in Sean Rodriguez. Runner on first with one out and Elliot Johnson due up.
Royals 1, Rays 3 Bot 4, 1 OutAug 20 8:24 PM
- With B.J. Upton at the plate, Desmond Jennings scores on a wild pitch by Will Smith.
Royals 1, Rays 2 Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 20 8:03 PM
- Alex Gordon singled to second scored Johnny Giavotella. Runner on first with two outs and Billy Butler due up.
Royals 1, Rays 1 Top 3, 2 OutsAug 20 7:53 PM
- Elliot Johnson singled to left scored Sean Rodriguez. On the play, Jose Lobaton out at third to end the inning.
Royals 0, Rays 1 End 2Aug 20 7:44 PM
- KANSAS CITY: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Aug 20 7:11 PM
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