(Sports Network) – Bartolo Colon tries to bounce back from one of the worst outings of his career this evening when the New York Yankees continue their four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
After a four-game winning streak, Colon lost for the second straight time on Thursday in Toronto, as he allowed eight runs (three earned) and six hits with two walks in just two-thirds of an inning to fall to 6-5, while raising his earned run average to 3.47.
“I think it’s important for him, because his last two nights, the starts have not been his best, and as I said, the start in Toronto, we didn’t help him,” Girardi said. “We created a lot of that mess for him. Who knows what he would’ve done, but I still think it’s important.”
Tampa battered Colon two starts ago to the tune of five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. The former AL Cy Young Award winner, though, is 9-3 lifetime against the Rays with a 3.84 ERA in 19 starts.
Getting the call for Tampa this evening will be young Jeremy Hellickson, who stopped a four-game losing streak his last time out. Hellickson hasn’t pitched since July 3 when he beat the St. Louis Cardinals, holding them to three runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings to improve to 8-7 to go along with a 3.21 ERA.
This will be Hellickson’s first start against the Yanks.
After suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in 16 innings to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, the Rays again lost in disappointing fashion in Monday’s opener, as Russell Martin’s bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth brought in the game-winning run in New York’s 5-4 victory.
David Robertson (3-0) earned the win by pitching a scoreless eighth inning for New York.
A.J. Burnett started the game and lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs — three earned — on eight hits and six walks in the Yankees’ third straight win.
Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 24th save of the year.
Alexander Torres (0-1) took the loss when he allowed the deciding run to cross the plate in the ninth.
Alex Cobb started for the Rays in place of the injured Wade Davis, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 7 with a right forearm strain, and allowed two runs — one earned — in six innings.
However, Tampa took its fifth loss in six games.
“Going into tonight, fighting through seven or eight innings with these guys, tough loss at the end…you’ve got to stop the momentum in the wrong direction,” Cobb said.
The Yankees have won four of six against Tampa Bay this season, including two of three at home before the All-Star break.