St. Petersburg, FL – Jeremy Hellickson cooled off baseball's hottest team, firing seven shutout innings to enable the Tampa Bay Rays to stop the Toronto Blue Jays' 11-game win streak with a 4-1 triumph at Tropicana Field.
Hellickson (6-3) limited a Toronto offense that averaged 6.4 runs over the club's franchise record-tying unbeaten stretch to just one hit -- a J.P. Arencibia single in the second inning -- to improve to 4-1 in June. The right- hander did issue four walks after going four straight starts and a total of 26 innings without one.
"Out of all the starts this year that he may have pitched well, tonight was the game that I think may have righted the ship for him," said Rays manager Joe Maddon.
He got all the support he needed from the trio of James Loney, Wil Myers and Sam Fuld, who socked back-to-back-to-back solo home runs off Esmil Rogers in the bottom of the second.
Myers finished 2-for-4 in the rookie's first-ever game at Tropicana Field, with Luke Scott contributing an RBI double to help the Rays take the opener of this three-game set.
Rogers (3-3) surrendered all four Tampa runs on seven hits over six innings of work.
"Losses are never easy, but we've been on a nice little roll," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You knew it was going to happen sooner or later."
Hellickson baffled the Blue Jays' hitters all throughout his stint, with Toronto's lone threat against the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year coming after Colby Rasmus walked in front of Arencibia's single in the top of the second. No damage was done, however, as Hellickson induced a double-play grounder from Maicer Izturis to retire the side.
Loney staked his pitcher to a 1-0 lead by belting a hanging slider from Rogers into the right center-field seats in the bottom of the inning. Myers then delivered a monstrous blast off the batter's eye in center in his first career at-bat at home, right before Fuld drilled a fastball into the stands to complete the trifecta.
Tampa Bay extended the margin to 4-0 an inning later, with Matt Joyce leading off with a single and racing all the way from first on Scott's one-out blooper that dropped to the turf in short left field.
Toronto didn't get another hit until Emilio Bonifacio beat out an infield grounder against Alex Torres in the eighth, which was followed by a walk to Mark DeRosa and Melky Cabrera's base hit that loaded the bases.
Jose Bautista's fielder's choice that forced pinch-runner Rajai Davis out at second finally got the Jays on the board, while ending a string of 25 scoreless innings Torres had carried into the game.
Fernando Rodney permitted a two-out single to Arencibia in the ninth before notching his 16th save of the season.
Torres' streak of 20 1/3 scoreless innings to begin this season was just shy of Joe Borowski's team record of 21 straight in 2005 ... Myers has gone 10- for-30 with two homers and seven RBI over a seven-game hitting streak ... Rogers had allowed three home runs total over 48 2/3 innings this season coming into the contest ... Rasmus drew three of Hellickson's four walks on the evening ... Toronto has now lost in 11 of its last 13 visits to the Trop.