ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A scary situation involving Tampa Bay second baseman Will Rhymes overshadowed another strong outing by Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.
Rhymes left in the eighth inning of the Rays’ 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night after being hit by a pitch near his right elbow. While standing at first base he gestured that he wanted to come out of the game, took a couple of steps and collapsed into the arms of first base coach George Hendrick. Trainers worked on Rhymes in the coach’s box before he was assisted to a utility cart and left the field.
The Rays said Rhymes briefly fainted, but that he is fine, remained at the ballpark for X-rays on his arm and was not taken a hospital.
“He got kind of rubber-legged right there,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “That stuff hurts. I know it’s in the arm, but that can definitely take your breath away. It was described to me as kind of an adrenalin rush that caused that reaction.”
X-rays were negative and the team said Rhymes is day to day with a bruised right forearm.
Hellickson pitched six solid innings and Luke Scott had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly as Tampa Bay snapped the Red Sox’s five-game winning streak.
“Hellickson’s change up made that fastball look like it’s a 100 (mph),” Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.
Hellickson (4-0) allowed one run and five hits en route to winning a career-best sixth consecutive decision, dating to Sept. 4. He struck out six and walked two.
After Jake McGee and Joel Peralta both threw a scoreless inning, Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Clay Buchholz (4-2) gave up two runs and six hits over five-plus innings for Boston. Buchholz, who took a grounder off his foot during the sixth, had allowed four or more runs in all seven of his previous starts this season.
“No,” said Buchholz when asked if the foot was an issue. “I think it was more after I came out. It’s a little sore. It’s nothing (to worry about).”
Matt Joyce opened the sixth with an infield single that went off Buchholz’s leg. He went to third on a single by Carlos Pena. Andrew Miller replaced Buchholz and gave up Scott’s sacrifice fly that put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1.
Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross appeared to have problems with the roof on Scott’s shallow fly.
“I wasn’t really planning on going until I saw Cody Ross kind of backpedal,” Joyce said. “The Trop can be tough sometimes for outfielders. It’s hard to see the ball when you’re not used to it. He started backpedaling. As an outfielder, I know it’s hard to get a lot on your throw and make a really good throw when you’re on the heels of your feet and backpedaling. I took a shot and it worked out.”
The Rays, winners of four straight, loaded the bases with two outs later in the sixth, but Miller struck out Elliot Johnson on a 3-2 pitch.
Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the second when Buchholz was called for a balk on a pickoff move to first with runners on the corners and two outs. Pena, who had a leadoff single, scored on the play.
“I was going to go third to first, and my cleat sort of got caught,” Buchholz said.
The Red Sox wound up with three balks overall.
“Crazy,” Valentine said.
Daniel Nava’s fourth-inning RBI single got Boston even at 1-all.
Valentine said left-hander Felix Doubront, who was hit on the ear by a ball during batting practice Tuesday, was cleared to make his start Thursday.
Meanwhile, Boston left-hander Rich Hill left the field after being struck by a ball in batting practice before Wednesday night’s game. The team said Hill is OK.
NOTES: Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey (right thumb) is set to resume throwing next week. … Boston 3B Kevin Youkilis (lower back) started a rehab assignment as the DH with Triple-A Pawtucket and could play in the field Friday. … Valentine doesn’t believe RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (right elbow), scheduled to start for Pawtucket Thursday, is close to pitching in the majors. … Rays 3B Evan Longoria (left hamstring) took batting practice, but has not started running. … Red Sox LF Carl Crawford (left wrist) could start swinging a bat next week. … The Rays acquired OF Rich Thompson from Philadelphia for minor league OF Kyle Hudson.