Rays rookie stifles Mariners
SEATTLE – Jeremy Hellickson held the Seattle Mariners to five hits and a run over seven-plus innings, becoming the first A.L. rookie this season with 10 wins as the Tampa Bay Rays rolled to an 8-1 victory Sunday.
Hellickson (10-7) carried a no-hitter into the sixth but Chone Figgins, batting .184, opened with a single to center and Franklin Gutierrez followed with another single. Hellickson retired the next three batters on a flyout and two foulouts.
Hellickson is the quickest Tampa Bay rookie to 10 wins since Rolando Arrojo reached the mark on June 27, 1998.
Sean Rodriguez had three hits, including his fifth home run, and three RBIs. Ben Zobrist also added three hits and three RBIs for the Rays.
Jason Vargas (6-10) went 51/3 innings for the Mariners. He allowed nine hits and six runs, four earned. He walked one and struck out six.
It was a sloppy start for the Mariners, and the Rays took advantage. Desmond Jennings reached on a game-opening error by shortstop Brendan Ryan. Jennings made it to third on a steal of second and a throwing error by catcher Miguel Olivo. He scored on Evan Longoria’s fielder’s choice.
In the third, Sam Fuld reached on first baseman Adam Kennedy’s one-out error. Fuld eventually scored on Zobrist’s single to left.
The three errors tied a Mariners season high, set May 16 against Minnesota.
Tampa Bay added two more in the fourth. Kelly Shoppach opened with a single and Matt Joyce doubled when Gutierrez just missed on a diving attempt in center. Both runners scored on Rodriguez’s bloop single to center for a 4-0 lead.
Casey Kotchman made it 5-0 with a two-out single to score Zobrist, who had doubled.
Zobrist pushed his team-leading RBI total to 61 with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth.
Rodriguez opened the eighth with his shot to left on a 1-2 pitch from Charlie Furbush, acquired Saturday in a trade with Detroit.
The Mariners finally scored rather awkwardly in the seventh. Mike Carp and Olivo opened with singles. Kennedy forced Olivo at second. Casper Wells, who came along with Furbush from Detroit, lifted a blooper that dropped into shallow right-center. Carp scored but Kennedy, unsure whether the ball would drop, was thrown out scrambling for second.
Wells was credited with an RBI but his “hit” turned into a fielder’s choice.
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