OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run homer to help Jeremy Hellickson end a six-start winless stretch for his first victory in 11 months, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 Wednesday to avoid a sweep.
Hellickson (1-1) allowed two hits and one run in seven innings, struck out three and walked none. He hadn't reached five innings in any of his previous three starts this year or in five outings dating to the end of the 2013 season. Hellickson returned late last month following right elbow surgery in January.
The Rays handed reigning AL Pitcher of the Month Sonny Gray (12-5) his second straight defeat following a 5-0 July in which he had a 1.03 ERA. This is the second time Gray has lost consecutive outings in his first full major league season, also to Baltimore and the Yankees on June 7 and 13.