ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Jeremy Hellickson may have escaped a scary incident with no major problems.
Hellickson left in the third inning of Saturday night's 6-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers after being struck in the lower right leg by Prince Fielder's liner.
The Rays said Hellickson, who missed his previous two starts because of right shoulder inflammation, has a bruised shin and X-rays were negative.
``It's still pretty numb but it feels a little better,' Hellickson said. ``It missed my bone so that was good. It just went numb and it was hard to push off.'
Both Hellickson and Rays manager Joe Maddon think the right-hander will be able to make his next scheduled start.
Hellickson fell to the ground after being hit by Fielder's bases-loaded shot, which ricocheted to Carlos Pena at first base. Fielder was retired by Pena on the play in which Austin Jackson scored to make it 1-0.
After being checked by a team trainer and making a couple warm-up tosses, Hellickson departed and was replaced by J.P. Howell.
``I did not want to put a lot of strain on his shoulder,' Maddon said. ``It (the leg) was starting to swell up. I did not want to mess with it.'
Rick Porcello allowed four hits in seven shutout innings and Jackson hit a three-run homer for the Tigers.
Porcello (6-5) struck out four in winning for the third time in four starts.
Jackson put the Tigers up 4-0 with his eighth homer in the eighth off Joel Peralta, who returned after serving an eight-game suspension for having pine tar on his glove.
``A three-run homer is nice,' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ``That came at a big time.'
After Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit gave up solo homers to pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger and Pena in the eighth, Jhonny Peralta gave Detroit a 6-2 lead with a two-run single in the ninth.
Elliot Johnson's third-inning bunt single was the Rays' only hit off Porcello until Will Rhymes, Desmond Jennings and Pena, who had an infield hit just in front of the plate, had consecutive singles to load the bases with one out in the sixth. The Tigers starter worked out trouble by retiring B.J. Upton on a pop fly and getting a grounder from Luke Scott.
``He just made great pitches, just got out of the inning and that's pretty much the ballgame as it turned out,' Leyland said. ``They (Tampa Bay) keep playing. They keep coming back. You know they're going to do that. You've got to beat them. They don't give you anything.'
Rays right-hander Kyle Farnsworth, out all season with a strained right elbow, pitched a scoreless seventh.
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera went 3 for 3 with two walks. The slugger has 68 hits in 196 at_bats over his past 48 games.
Notes: Rays LHP David Price, tied for the AL wins lead with 11, felt fine one day after leaving his latest start after seven innings because of lower back tightness. Price expects to make his next scheduled start. ... Leyland thinks he has as many as five players who are solid candidates to be selected to the AL All-Star team - Fielder Cabrera, Benoit and Jackson and Justin Verlander. ... On Turn Back the Clock Night, Tampa Bay, a 1998 expansion team, wore hypothetical uniforms from 1979. The Tigers dressed in replicas of their 1979 uniforms.
The Associated Press News Service
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