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.