ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jeremy Hellickson needed just 97 pitches to finish off his latest strong outing.
Hellickson threw a four-hitter, Reid Brignac had three RBIs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-1 on Sunday."He had a sneaky fastball that set everything else up," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "When he wanted to throw the ball somewhere, it was going there."Hellickson (12-10) has two complete games this season, both against the Orioles. The rookie right-hander also tossed a four-hitter in a 3-0 win against Baltimore on May 13."I felt good in command of all my pitches," Hellickson said. "Even the curveball felt good. I was throwing that for a strike once in a while, and I was keeping the ball down."Tampa Bay scored four times with two out in the third to take a 6-0 lead. Evan Longoria came home when third baseman Mark Reynolds misplayed Brandon Guyer's grounder, and Brignac followed with a three-run double."I haven't had too many opportunities of late to drive in some runs," Brignac said. "The way Jeremy was throwing, all we needed was a few runs to get through the game."Brignac had driven in two runs in previous 41 home games this year.Adam Jones homered for the Orioles. Jeremy Guthrie gave up seven runs -- three earned -- and seven hits over five innings en route to his major league-leading 17th loss.Guthrie (6-17) walked three batters to help set up the Rays' big third. After the inning ended, he appeared ready to throw a Gatorade bucket all around the dugout."Just a lot of frustration," he said. "I grabbed it and wanted to do a lot more things with it, but kind of dragged it and set it down. I figured I didn't deserve a drink of Gatorade that inning."Guthrie is the first pitcher since Kip Wells (2005 and 2007) to lose at least 17 games twice during his career. The right-hander went 10-17 in 2009.Hellickson improved to 4-1 in five starts -- six appearances overall -- against Baltimore, including wins in all three outings at home where he has surrendered two earned runs in 25 combined innings."It's kind of frustrating ... You know exactly what he's going to do and try to do," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's got a great presentation on the changeup and breaking ball. Throws everything out of the same slot. He's grasped pitching instead of throwing at a young age."Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the second for Tampa Bay. Rodriguez's two-out drive to left on a 1-2 pitch was his seventh homer of the season.The Rays scored all of their runs in Saturday's 6-3 win over Baltimore in two-out situations.Matt Joyce drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, including a two-out solo homer in the sixth.Jones led off the fifth with his 23rd homer. He had just three hits in his previous 37 at-bats.Jones also doubled in the seventh, and Robert Andino and J.J. Hardy had the other hits for Baltimore. Andino's third-inning infield hit was originally ruled an error on shortstop Brignac.Tampa Bay designated hitter Johnny Damon tied Doc Cramer for 62nd place on the career hits list at 2,705 with a fourth-inning single.
Tampa Bay CF B.J. Upton rested one day after getting five RBIs. "That was planned before (Saturday's game)," Maddon said. ... Orioles RF Nick Markakis made his second career start at first base and had a couple nice fielding plays. ... Rays INF Ben Zobrist (neck stiffness) could return to the starting lineup Monday. ... Baltimore RHP Jason Berken (strained right forearm) may pitch in a simulated game Thursday. ... Rays RHP James Shields (13-10), who tops the majors with 10 complete games this season, will pitch against Texas RHP Scott Feldman (1-0) on Monday. ... Baltimore LHP Brian Matusz (1-7) and New York RHP Freddy Garcia (11-7) are Monday's scheduled starters at Yankee Stadium.