Jeremy Hellickson fans four batters in an inning

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Jeremy Hellickson struck out four batters in the third inning Thursday against the Tigers, becoming the first pitcher in Rays history to pull off the feat.

After Austin Jackson reached on a strike three/wild pitch to begin the inning, Hellickson fanned Ramon Santiago, Delmon Young and Victor Martinez in order.  Martinez was hitting in the cleanup spot that usually would have been occupied by Miguel Cabrera, who is away on paternity leave today.

Hellickson, a top candidate for AL Rookie of the Year honors, ended up allowing two runs over seven innings and striking out seven in the game.  Still, he’s in line for the loss, as Doug Fister is shutting out the Rays as of this writing.

Update: Detroit won 2-0, dropping Hellickson to 11-9 with his 3.01 ERA.  The Rays have scored a total of nine runs in his nine losses.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.