The streak is over. Jeremy Hellickson allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings tonight as the Rays topped the Blue Jays 4-1 at Tropicana Field. And just like that, Toronto’s winning streak ends at 11 games.
Hellickson entered tonight’s start with a 5.50 ERA on the year, but a second-inning single by J.P. Arencibia was the only offense the Blue Jays could muster against him. They squandered a bases-loaded opportunity against Alex Torres in the eighth inning, as they could only get one run on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Bautista.
The Rays got all the offense they would need in the bottom of the second inning, as James Loney, Wil Myers, and Sam Fuld hit consecutive solo home runs off losing pitcher Esmil Rogers. You can watch the video of Myers’ shot below. It was a majestic blast.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.