Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson had a clean 12-pitch first inning in this ALDS Game 4 in Tampa Bay, but he allowed back-to-back walks to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to open the top of the second and then a Daniel Nava single loaded the bases and abruptly drove the Rays starter from the game.
It’s a wonder — given the obvious lack of faith and poor regular season output — why Hellickson drew this assignment in the first place. But credit Tampa Bay for the pulling the plug right away. The Rays escaped damage in the second when Jamey Wright fanned Jarrod Saltalamacchia and James Loney turned a heads-up doubleplay on a hard Stephen Drew lineout. Matt Moore entered in the top of the third to do some inning-eating.
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy has thrown up zeroes through his easy first four frames.
It’s a 0-0 deadlock as the top of the fifth inning gets underway at Tropicana Field.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.