BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Jeremy Hellickson #58 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks away after giving up a two-run home run to Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox, seen heading home, at Fenway Park April 14, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
...And it started off so nicely.
Yet again, the Rays went up early with a four-run first inning and blew the lead against a division rival. This time, however, they would not make a miraculous comeback.
Desmond Jennings started off the day with a walk and scored one pitch later when Carlos Pena doubled off the top of the low right-centerfield wall. With yesterday's offensive woes fresh on Rays fans' minds, it was a good to see the club score early. The good feelings continued after a Ben Zobrist walk when Luke Scott(!) launched a 3-2 offering into the rightfield stands for a three-run homer to give Jeremy Hellickson a four-run lead before he threw is first pitch.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox would inch their way back, one homer at a time, until--blink and you'd miss it-- they were skull-thwacking the Rays for the second day in a row. Hellboy and Co. (Badenhop and Dance Dance La Revolucion) surrendered some beast-shots to Saltalamacchia, Pedroia, Ortiz, and--ugh--Cody Ross, and also coughed up a tall-wall scraper to Mike Aviles. J.P. Howell didn't give up a homer--which is good. But, he did allow two runs on a walk, a single, and two doubles--which is bad.
Hellickson just didn't have put away stuff this afternoon. He went just five innings (67% more than David Price yesterday) and allowed five earned runs on seven hits (3 HRs), three walks, and struck out just one. He induced six swinging strikes on 99 pitches (figure on the % on your own).
The loss while scoring five runs breaks some super-impressive streak about the Rays winning games or something. I'd rather not think about it.