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Rays' Hellickson shuts down streaking Mariners

Jun 5, 2011 - 12:04 AM Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Upstart rookie pitcher Jeremy Hellickson followed up his outstanding performance through the month of May with 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his first start in June, as the Tampa Bay Rays eked by Seattle Mariners, 3-2.

Hellickson (7-3), May's American League pitcher and rookie of the month honoree, surrendered just three hits and had four strikeouts for the Rays, who snapped a three-game losing skid.

Ben Zobrist had a pair of hits and knocked in two runs while Johnny Damon drove in a run for the victors.

Pinch-hitter Miguel Olivo had a two-run homer in the eighth to draw the Mariners within one run, but they failed to find the equalizer as Kyle Farnsworth shut them down in the ninth to get his 11th save. The loss temporarily derails the surging Mariners, who came into the game winning 13 of their previous 16 games.

Seattle starter Doug Fister (3-6) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits over seven innings.

"Doug struggled there in that one inning early on, but he was able to get through it," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of his starter. "He had to fight through it, but I couldn't be more impressed with what he did after that. For him to be out of sync the way he was that one inning and to find it and get it back and get us deep in the ballgame... great effort."

After a Tampa Bay three-run second inning, both starting pitchers locked the offenses down.

Hellickson, who was practically untouchable in the May with a 4-1 ledger and a 1.36 earned run average, retired 12 in a row from Justin Smoak's fourth-inning double until Carlos Peguero's double in the eighth which ended his outing.

"I threw a lot of fastballs early, haven't done that lately," Hellickson said. "It's easy to go out there to throw strikes after we're up 3-0 after the second inning."

Joel Peralta replaced him and got Chone Figgins to ground out before serving up Olivo's towering two-run homer over the fence in left.

But the Rays held on thanks to Farnsworth's 1-2-3 final frame.

Tampa Bay scored all the runs it would need in the second. With one out and two men on, Damon ripped an RBI double and Zobrist followed up with a single that scored John Jaso and Damon for a 3-0 lead.

Game Notes

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria left because of precautionary reasons in the bottom of the fourth inning with tightness in his left side...It was Olivo's third career pinch-hit home run. His last came on June 30, 2008. It is the first Mariners pinch-hit HR since June 15, 2010...Damon has reached base safely in 30 straight games -- longest active streak in the AL...Hellickson improved to 5-1 on the road.

  • TAMPA BAY: 3
    SEATTLE: 2

    Jun 4 6:48 PM

  • Pinch-Hitter Miguel Olivo two-out, two-run Home Run (6) to left scored Carlos Peguero. Ichiro Suzuki due up.

    Rays 3, Mariners 2  Bot 8, 2 OutsJun 4 6:33 PM
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    Rays 3, Mariners 2  Bot 8, 2 OutsJun 4 6:33 PM
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    Rays 3, Mariners 0  Top 3, 2 OutsJun 4 5:06 PM

  • Ben Zobrist singled to center scored John Jaso and Johnny Damon. Runner on first with two outs and Matt Joyce due up.

    Rays 3, Mariners 0  Top 2, 2 OutsJun 4 4:40 PM

  • Johnny Damon doubled to center scored Sam Fuld. On the play, John Jaso advances to third. Runners on second and third with two outs and Ben Zobrist due up.

    Rays 1, Mariners 0  Top 2, 2 OutsJun 4 4:38 PM

  • TAMPA BAY: 0
    SEATTLE: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jun 4 4:10 PM
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    Rays vs. MarinersJun 4 7:00 AM