PHOENIX (AP) — Jeremy Hellickson will be happy not to see the Arizona Diamondbacks again this season.
Hellickson failed to escape the fifth inning for the second straight start, both against Arizona, and the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Diamondbacks 6-1 on Tuesday night.
“I was a little bit better but they were taking a lot of good pitches and I couldn’t get an out in the zone,” Hellickson said. “They were pretty patient and I need to attack a bit better.”
Hellickson gave up five runs and five hits and three walks, hit a batter and struck out one as the Rays slipped 1 games behind Boston in the AL East.
Against everyone except Arizona this season, Hellickson (10-5) has posted a 10-3 record and 4.48 ERA.
But against the Diamondbacks, he’s 0-2 and has allowed nine runs in nine innings.
“He was at 90 pitches after 4 2-3 innings and he did the same thing last time,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We’ve got to get him to pitch more efficient.”
Hellickson agrees, though the method of getting to that point has proved elusive.
“I feel good but my command is off a little bit right now,” Hellickson said. “It’s pretty embarrassing not to get through the fifth two games in a row.”
Tampa Bay went ahead 1-0 on Evan Longoria’s 22nd home run with one out in the fourth, but Hellickson surrendered the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Hellickson walked Paul Goldschmidt to lead off the inning and Eric Chavez doubled to left, tying the game at 1-1.
Hellickson then walked Aaron Hill before Ross homered to left to make it 4-1 one pitch after fouling a ball off his right calf and falling to the ground.
“You can’t walk the leadoff guy in an inning,” said Hellickson, who lost on the road for the first time since April 25 against the Chicago White Sox. “I still could have limited the damage a little bit. I fell behind to Chavez and couldn’t make a good pitch when I needed to.”
Arizona starter Wade Miley (9-8) allowed one run, struck out five and walked two over seven innings for his fifth win in his past six starts.
Chavez finished with a pair of RBI doubles for the Diamondbacks, who pulled within five games of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
Arizona added a run in the fifth when Hellickson walked Goldschmidt and Chavez doubled off reliever Jamey Wright.
Martin Prado extended the lead to 6-1 with an RBI double to center, scoring Adam Eaton in the seventh inning.
“We had a lot of hard outs,” Maddon said. “We hit some balls hard for outs. I like our approach better versus Miley tonight but the four-spot did hurt.”
NOTES: Tampa Bay was making its third trip to Arizona and first since 2007. … Before the game, the Rays placed Desmond Jennings on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 4 with a small fracture in his left middle finger. Tampa Bay selected OF Jason Bourgeois from Triple-A Durham to replace Jennings. … The Rays also moved RHP Alex Cobb, out with a concussion, to the 60-day disabled list from the 15-day DL. … Miley has allowed eight runs in his past seven starts to lower his ERA from 4.55 to 3.56. … Hellickson singled in the fifth, his first career hit. … Heath Bell, who pitched the eighth, has posted 11 consecutive scoreless outings spanning 11 1-3 innings with 15 strikeouts. … RHP Chris Archer (6-4) will attempt to get back on track Wednesday when he faces LHP Randall Delgado (4-3) and the Diamondbacks. Archer allowed four runs in his last start against San Francisco, matching his total for the month of July. Delgado has allowed three runs or fewer in eight of nine starts.