American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, July 5th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (43-39) at Cleveland Indians (42-39), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (4-4, 3.44)
Cleveland - Josh Tomlin (4-5, 5.85)
(Sports Network) - Jeremy Hellickson tries to get both himself and his Tampa
Bay Rays back into the win column this evening when they open a four-game
series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Hellickson has lost his last four decisions and has pitched to a 4.45 ERA in
his last six starts. He had to leave his last start on Saturday against
Detroit after getting hit in the shin with a line drive. Hellickson absorbed
the loss in that one, though, surrendering a run and four hits in 2 2/3
"I wasn't too concerned," Hellickson said. "I knew I was going to be sore, but
it was just a bruise."
The start was Hellickson's first since returning from the disabled list with
right shoulder inflammation. He is 4-4 on the year with a 3.44 ERA and hasn't
won since beating Boston back on May 16.
Hellickson beat the Indians the only other time he faced them, scattering
three hits over seven scoreless innings back on May 29, 2011.
He will be trying to get the Rays back on track tonight after the team saw
their nine-game home winning streak over the New York Yankees come to an end
with a 4-3 loss at Tropicana Field.
Carlos Pena gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer in the seventh, but
Kyle Farnsworth (0-1) walked the bases loaded a half-inning later, then issued
a free pass to Alex Rodriguez to push across a run. Robinson Cano followed
with a line drive up the middle off of Jake McGee, putting New York on top for
"Kyle Farnsworth is a big part of our present and our future. For us to get to
the promised land he's got to perform better, which he shall," said Rays
manager Joe Maddon.
Cleveland, meanwhile, enters tonight's tilt rolling after Michael Brantley and
Casey Kotchman each launched three-run home runs on Wednesday in a 12-3 rout
of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Asdrubal Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Shin-Soo Choo, Jason
Kipnis and Lou Marson all knocked in a run for the Indians, who won for the
fifth time in their last seven tries.
Derek Lowe (8-6) allowed three runs on 11 hits and no walks with one strikeout
to collect the win. Nick Hagadone, Tony Sipp and Jeremy Accardo closed out the
final three innings for the Tribe.
"We made them work, and put enough runs on the board that gave Derek enough
cushion to relax out there," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's been
around, he knows how to pitch with a lead."
Getting the call for the Tribe tonight will be righty Josh Tomlin, who is 4-5
with a 5.85 ERA. Tomlin beat the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, but did not
pitch well, as he allowed five runs and seven hits with three walks in six
He is 0-1 in two starts versus the Rays with a 5.25 ERA.
Tampa Bay won four of its six meetings with the Indians last season.
07/05 10:38:15 ET