Final
  for this game

Rays-Athletics Preview

Aug 20, 2010 - 6:12 AM By MIKE LIPKA STATS Writer

Tampa Bay (74-47) at Oakland (60-60), 10:05 p.m. EDT

Jeremy Hellickson has done more than the Tampa Bay Rays could have expected in his first three major league starts.

After Friday night's outing, however, he may be headed to the bullpen.

The red-hot rookie will try to improve to 4-0 in what may be his final start of the season as the visiting Rays look to rebound from a series-opening loss to the Oakland Athletics.

Hellickson (3-0, 1.35 ERA) has risen from the minors to fill a void in the Rays' rotation, providing a major boost with Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann on the disabled list.

The highly-touted right-hander held Baltimore to one run and three hits in six innings of Sunday's 3-2 win, becoming the first player since 1920 to pitch at least six innings and give up three hits or fewer in each of his first three big league games.

"I felt really good out there," said Hellickson, who is limiting opponents to a .136 batting average. "Maybe not as good as the first two starts, but I settled down after the third inning."

Tampa Bay's original plan had been to use the 23-year-old Hellickson in relief, as the club did with left-hander David Price when he was first called up in 2008. That outcome may come to fruition next week if Davis and Niemann can return from shoulder strains.

"I really, firmly, believe in when you make plans you stay with your plans and you only adjust when you have to," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "For right now we're still on task and schedule."

First, Hellickson hopes to help the Rays regain a share of the AL East lead. While Tampa Bay slipped one game behind New York on Thursday night, the club still leads Boston by 5 1/2 games for the wild card.

The Rays (74-47) had won five straight before opening this four-game series with a 4-3 loss. It was their first game against the A's since May 9, when Dallas Braden pitched a perfect game against them.

Tampa Bay is a major league-best 35-23 on the road, but has totaled five runs and 12 hits while losing its last three games at Oakland. The A's are the only AL team with a better ERA than the Rays, allowing 23 earned runs in their last 12 games to lower that mark to 3.55.

Vin Mazzaro (6-5, 3.71) takes the ball Friday for Oakland, searching for his first win since July 24. The right-hander's main problem this month has been run support; Mazzaro is 0-2 despite a 2.37 ERA in three August outings.

He was on the other side of a no-hit bid by Minnesota's Kevin Slowey on Sunday, holding the Twins to two runs - one earned - in six-plus innings of a 4-2 defeat.

"No matter what their guy's doing, you have to keep going out there and battling," Mazzaro told the A's official website. "You don't want to go out there and add pressure on yourself, but you want to keep your guys in the game."

Oakland (60-60) ranks 26th in the majors with 483 runs, but it put 15 on the board during a three-game winning streak. Cliff Pennington's two-out, two-run double rallied the A's from behind in the sixth inning Thursday.

"Getting two-out hits is what this team has to do to win ballgames," Pennington said. "When we get a big two-out hit it's just huge whoever it is."

Pennington had a game-ending RBI single in Oakland's previous game, a 5-4 win over Toronto on Wednesday.








  • Athletics 5, Rays 4 - FINAL
    TAMPA BAY ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    J Jaso c 3 0 0 1 0 1 0 .271
    B Zobrist 2b 4 2 1 1 0 0 1 .258
    C Crawford lf 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 .300
    E Longoria 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .293
    C Pena 1b 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 .212
    M Joyce rf 2 0 1 2 2 0 0 .223
    W Aybar

    Aug 21 1:11 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY BEN ZOBRIST ALLOWED KEVIN KOUZMANOFF TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C PENNINGTON ON FIRST, M ELLIS ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    OAKLAND 5 BOTTOM,8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: C CRISP (.287, 1-FOR-4)

    Rays 4, Athletics 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 21 1:02 AM
  • 78
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 45 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays 4, Athletics 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 21 1:02 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RAJAI DAVIS SCORED GABE GROSS
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K KOUZMANOFF ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    OAKLAND 4 BOTTOM,8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: T BUCK (.184, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays 4, Athletics 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 21 12:48 AM
  • 123
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 83 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays 4, Athletics 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 21 12:48 AM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 23 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays 4, Athletics 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 21 12:08 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BEN ZOBRIST (7) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF JERRY BLEVINS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C CRAWFORD (.301, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays 4, Athletics 3  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 21 12:07 AM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 26 roots

    Rays 4, Athletics 3  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 21 12:07 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JACK CUST (9) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF JEREMY HELLICKSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K KOUZMANOFF (.257, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays 3, Athletics 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 20 11:55 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 28 roots

    Rays 3, Athletics 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 20 11:55 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DARIC BARTON SCORED COCO CRISP AND CLIFF
    PENNINGTON
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D BARTON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM,3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K SUZUKI (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 3, Athletics 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 20 11:04 PM
  • 15
    roots
    FosterGrant Added 5 roots

    Rays 3, Athletics 0  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 20 11:01 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOHN JASO SCORED B.J. UPTON
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    OAKLAND 0 TOP,2ND
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B ZOBRIST (.258, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 3, Athletics 0  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 20 10:35 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 2 2 2 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 2 (BOT 1)


    CURRENT PITCHERS: TAM - JEREMY HELLICKSON
    OAK - VIN MAZZARO

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: C CRISP (.288, 5 HR, 27 RBI)
    D BARTON (.273, 5 HR, 40 RBI)
    K SUZUKI (.251, 12 HR, 53 RBI)

    Rays 2, Athletics 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 20 10:23 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 10 roots

    Rays vs. AthleticsMay 25 2:00 AM