Justin Verlander Shuts Down Rays, 2-0. Wait, That Was Doug Fister? Doug G.D. Fister!?!

As the headline suggests, the Rays offense was stymied this afternoon by Doug Fister and Co.  Fister allowed five hits through seven scoreless innings and was perfect through four.  The brightest spots for the Rays were Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld.  The Magic and the Legend both had two hits off the Iron Fist in both the fifth and seventh innings.  Despite the coincidence of these hits, the Rays could not push a runner across the plate.

The closest the Rays came to getting on the board was in the bottom of the ninth against Jose Valverde.  Casey Kotchman drew a one-out walk and Matt Joyce followed with a hard single to right, pushing Kotch to third.  Sam Fuld looked to have a bit more legendary sparkle dust left in him as he struck a line drive to right, but Ryan Raburn was there to make the catch.  Kotch would have scored and brought the Rays within one, but Matt Joyce was running on the pitch and couldn't get back to first before being doubled off to end the game. 

Since the Rays didn't score today, it didn't really matter what Jeremy Hellickson did after allowing a leadoff homer to Austin Jackson on the fifth pitch of the game.  Despite the early hole, Hell Boy pitched very well on the day: 7IP, 2ER, 6H, 1BB, 7K.  An impressive start, even against a Cabrera-less Tigers lineup, but like the rest of the Rays staff this series, it just wasn't enough to pull out a W. 

If there was one "bright spot" this afternoon, it was Hellickson becoming the first Rays pitcher to strikeout four hitters in an inning.  Helly K'd Austin Jackson to start the inning, but a curveball in the dirt got by Kelly Shoppach and Jackson scooted to first.  AJax would eventually steal second, but was stranded there as Hellickson K'd Santiago, Young, and VMart to end the inning unscathed and forever inscribe himself in Rays lore.

Well, it's best to forget that miserable series and look forward to the four game set against Toronto.  "Big Game" James Shields faces up against Henderson "Who?" Alvarez at 7:07 PM.  This is one of those fancy Friday-Monday series (not to be confused with those Monkey-Fighting Monday- Friday planes) so maybe the Hurricane will make it up to Toronto by the end of the series and let the world see the Rogers Centre without power.

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