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.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.