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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Rays @ O’s: Hellickson returns to mound to start trip
Posted May 17, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 17, 2013 at 04:25 PM
BALTIMORE The Rays return to the Inner Harbor tonight to begin a three-game series with the second-place Orioles.
Jeremy Hellickson, who has his share of troubles holding on to leads, takes the mound tonight.
Hellickson couldn’t hold on to a 6-2 lead in his last start, when a leadoff walk in the seventh jump-started a San Diego rally that ended with a two-out grand slam on a 3-2 pitch.
The Rays rallied for an 8-7 victory on Evan Longoria’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning.
Still Rays manager Joe Maddon was critical of Hellickson after the loss, saying blowing four-run leads and blowing them in the manner in which Hellickson let it get away was unacceptable.
Hellickson and Maddon spoke Sunday morning about Hellickson’s approach to the inning and Maddon’s post-game comments.
“He basically he told me what he told (the media). It was a bad approach that inning. Walking the leadoff guy was frustrating to everybody, and it came back to hurt me,” Hellickson said. “He let (the media know) how frustrated he was. It hurt reading about that. I pitched my heart out for so long and for that to happen it felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. And then I say that. But he was frustrated, he was right. As frustrated as he is and everyone else is, I’m a million times more frustrated. I’m the one who did it.”
The Rays will try to bounce back from Thursday loss, in which closer Fernando Rodney allowed a two-out, two-strike double with the bases-loaded that drove in three runs as the Red Sox rallied for a 4-3 win at the Trop.
The loss was the second in a row for the Rays, who dropped back to .500.
Here is the Rays lineup: