BOSTON -- On a Friday evening when the Orioles' offense stood out in a big way in a 16-3 victory over the Red Sox, Jeremy Hellickson (aka "Helly" for Players Weekend) quietly crafted a strong performance, providing the club with hope that its Deadline dealing could pay off down the
BOSTON -- On a Friday evening when the Orioles' offense stood out in a big way in a 16-3 victory over the Red Sox, Jeremy Hellickson (aka "Helly" for Players Weekend) quietly crafted a strong performance, providing the club with hope that its Deadline dealing could pay off down the stretch.
Just three games back of the second American League Wild Card spot, Baltimore is in the thick of a crowded pack of postseason contenders.
"It makes winning a little more fun," Hellickson said of joining the playoff race. "You win a game with a team that's out of it and it's like, 'Who cares?' But when you're playing for something, it makes every game important. It makes coming to the field a little bit easier."
"Jeremy, everything starts and ends with him," manager Buck Showalter said. "He had those two extra days and we're going to continue to try and give that to him because we seem to get a return with it."
In his fifth start since coming over from Philadelphia in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal, Hellickson worked effectively and did well to not allow Boston to build up a comeback.
After retiring the side in the first, he showed his mettle following a two-run homer to Xander Bogaerts in the second that allowed the Red Sox to pull within three runs.
Undaunted, the right-hander retired the next nine batters, giving the bats time to mount a massive fifth which put plenty of distance between the teams.
While Baltimore scored seven runs in the fifth, Hellickson waited out a 30-minute break, and allowed two hits and a run in the fifth following the down time.
"It's really nice. We probably scored too many runs, actually," he joked. "In the fifth inning, it felt like I hadn't thrown the whole game. You can't say enough about this offense."
Again undeterred, Hellickson buckled down and retired seven in a row, helping his club through seven innings and keeping it on pace in the playoff hunt, while showing his worth in regrouping following a tough start in his last outing.
"I feel like the ball had a lot more life to it than the last couple of games," Hellickson said. "I think my command was a lot better than it's been. I think that's the biggest thing. I was going right after guys, getting ahead for the most part and letting our defense play."
Hellickson, who did not allow a walk for the second straight game, recorded four 1-2-3 innings and held the top four hitters in the Red Sox's lineup to an 0-for-12 night, with Mitch Moreland the only of those batters to reach off him.
"He just mixed it up," Moreland said. "He was spotting his fastball to both sides of the plate. Everything was working for him. It's one of those nights where you just have to tip your cap."
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston and covered the Orioles on Friday.