BOSTON — BOSTON — Jeremy Hellickson threw six effective innings, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2 Wednesday night at Fenway Park, salvaging one win in the three-game series.
“We have to get back even with these guys, or close to even,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “Helly did a great job of keeping the score down on their side. We continued to battle through at-bats, had great opportunities, missed some but came through when we had to.
“Helly did a nice job of mixing his pitches. Better location overall. Better command of what he was doing.”
Hellickson (5-3) gave up two runs on seven hits with no walks, four strikeouts, two wild pitches and a balk.
“It was nice to actually finish a game on a good note,” Hellickson said. “Being aggressive, first-pitch strikes is the main thing. I haven’t changed my approach, work the corners, keeping the ball down”
Four Rays relievers combined to throw three no-hit innings, with Fernando Rodney getting the final out in a non-save situation.
“Hellickson kept us off-balance with both his curveball and his changeup, and he threw enough fastballs to keep us honest,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “I thought we put up some good at-bats against their guys.”
Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster (4-8) went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks, with three strikeouts.
“I just made a mistake to (Desmond) Jennings that he hit for the home run and they got a couple of balls that fell in,” Dempster said. “Just the way it goes sometimes.”
Tampa Bay took the lead for good on Ben Zobrist’s fifth-inning RBI single that broke a 2-2 tie. Jose Molina led off with a single and took second on a two-out walk to Jennings before scoring on Zobrist’s hit.
Evan Longoria hit a run-scoring single in the seventh, and Wil Myers followed with a two-run double for his first major-league RBIs.
The Rays got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the first inning. Jennings hit a solo home run, his ninth homer of the season, with one out. Zobrist followed with a single, took third on Evan Longoria’s single and scored on James Loney’s sacrifice fly.
Boston got a run in the second when David Ortiz led off with a double, moved to third on Mike Napoli’s groundout and scored on Jonny Gomes’ infield single.
The Red Sox tied the score 2-2 in the fourth when Gomes’ single knocked in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had hit a two-out double.
GAME NOTES: After catching all 18 innings of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Saltalamacchia was behind the plate again Wednesday for the series finale. … The Red Sox announced the signing of LHP Trey Ball, their first pick in this year’s draft. … Despite his struggles, RHP Andrew Bailey remains the Red Sox’s closer, Farrell said. … Boston C David Ross, who is on the seven-day disabled list, will travel to Pittsburgh on Thursday to be examined by concussion specialist Michael Collins. Ross took a foul tip off his mask in Friday’s game in Baltimore. It is the second time this season he has been on the concussion DL. … Red Sox 1B/OF Mike Carp was unavailable again for defense. He left Sunday’s game in Baltimore with cramping in his right hamstring. … Rays LHP David Price is expected to make his first rehab start Friday for Class A Charlotte (Port Charlotte, Fla.). He has been on the DL since May 16 with a left triceps strain. Price suffered a setback when he felt soreness after throwing a simulated game during the Rays’ last home game.
MLB NOTES: Kevin Youkilis was brought to New York to fill in for an injured Alex Rodriguez. Now A-Rod might wind up filling in for an injured Youkilis.
Youkilis will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back Thursday in Los Angeles, sending him to the disabled list for at least 10-12 weeks.
“It’s not how you draw it up, there’s no doubt about that,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “Kevin is a hell of a player when healthy. He just hasn’t been in position to show what he’s capable of in-season because of the back. He looked great in the spring and we had high hopes.”
Youkilis had two home runs and seven RBIs in 17 games before a lumbar spine sprain sent him to the disabled list for 30 games. He returned May 31, with one RBI in 11 games before being placed back on the DL last Friday following the Yankees’ 18-inning game in Oakland.
“He still wasn’t performing but there wasn’t complaints,” Cashman said. “Then after that 18-inning game, the next day, there was a complaint that he was starting to feel a different sensation and a numbness.”
The Yankees will continue to use rookie David Adams and utility infielder Jayson Nix at third base for the foreseeable future, though they’re expecting to get Alex Rodriguez back from the DL sometime after the All-Star break.