Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Jays 2, Rays 1: Another 1-run loss
Posted Aug 31, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Aug 31, 2012 at 11:44 PM
TORONTO Another solid outing by a pitcher wasted because of a lack of runs.
This time Jeremy Hellickson was the tough-luck loser in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
Hellickson recorded his 16th quality start of the season when he allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. He left after allowing a leadoff hit in the seventh inning.
Both those runs scored on home runs. Moises Sierra led off the third with a home run that tied the score at 1-1, and Edwin Encarnacion homered in the fourth for the winning run.
“I kept us in the ball game, but I got to do a better job than that,” Hellickson said. “For one I got to keep the ball in the park.”
Manager Joe Maddon said he went with Jake McGee after Hellickson allowed the leadoff single to Encarnacion to start the seventh despite Hellickson throwing only 74 pitches because he liked the left-handed McGee on the left-handed Adam Lind.
It worked. McGee got out of the inning.
Here are some notes from another one-run loss …
—The Rays are now 2 ½ games behind the Orioles for the final Wild Card spot.
—That’s 11 losses in the Rays last 12 one-run games. They are 6-20 in one-run losses since May 28. They opened the year with 12 wins in their first 16 one-run games.
—Desmond Jennings hit his 11th home run of the season in the third inning. He also doubled off Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow and is now 5-for-11 with three home runs, a double, three RBI and three walks against Morrow.
—Ben Zobrist was 0-for-4 to end his streak of reaching base at least once in a game at 13.
—RHP Albert Suarez was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for OF Ben Francisco, who was acquired Friday night from the Astros in a trade for a player to be named later.