Jeremy Hellickson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez both had three hits and three RBI to lead the Rays to an easy victory over the Mariners Sunday afternoon.
Hell Boy was "on his game" as they say, pitching seven-plus innings, allowing just one run on five hits and one walk while striking out two. He generated eleven swinging strikes on 109 pitches (10.1%) and didn't allow a hit until Chone Figgins singled up the middle to lead off the sixth.
Hellickson ran into a "bit" of trouble in the seventh inning where he allowed his only run of the afternoon. Unfortunately, my feed went out due to some precipitous interference (oh, how you vex me DirecTV) and I was unable to see the inning. On the play-by-play, all i could see was this:
For those that could see it live, maybe you could enlighten us in the comments as to what happened on those singles to shallow right to lead off the inning. Were they sharply hit, ground-balls-with-eyes, or Texas Leaguers? Or maybe something else, all together. ("Or maybe something else.")
Jake McGee and Mike Ekstrom pitched two innings of scoreless relief giving up a walk and a hit, respectively. With the Rays current string of call-ups-and-downs, Ekstrom should be fearing a return trip to Durham now that' he's gotten his one appearance in.
As mentioned above, Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez were the stars of the offense today as they went a combined 6-9 with three runs, and six RBI. Zobrist added a double to the mix, giving him 34 and the lead in the vaunted AL Doubles Race. SRod would contribute by adding a solo homer and a stolen base to round out the day. Also, just for comparison to SRod and Zorilla's 6-9, Desmond Jennings, Evan Longoria, Casey Kotchman, B.J. Upton, and Matt Joyce were a combined 4-20.
By looking at the score you can tell that Mariners starter Jason Vargas did not have a great outing Sunday afternoon. Vargas pitched five and one-third innings and allowed six runs (four earned), on nine hits, and a walk while striking out six. This was a bad start by the Seattle lefty, and it begs the question: "How did this guy throw a CGSO against the Rays his last time out?" Wait, don't answer that, it's just going to depress me.
The win ends the road trip--and July, for that matter--on a high note as the Rays come home to face the Blue Jays (now with 100% MORE Colby Rasmus) on Tuesday. David Price on the bump against Ricky Romero @7:10 PM as the Rays take on a team that actually did something by the trade deadline.