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Rays shut out Yanks to complete sweep

1:58 PM, Apr 8, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Reigning American League Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson began his sophomore campaign on the right foot, coming within an out of his second-career shutout as the Rays blanked the Yankees, 3-0, at Tropicana Field.

The 25-year-old right-hander led all rookie pitchers in earned run average (2.95), quality starts (20) and opponents' batting average (.210) to earn the honor last season, and celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday by tossing 8 2/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball before being pulled with two outs in the ninth after walking Nick Swisher.

Fernando Rodney came on in relief, and induced a groundout from Raul Ibanez to earn his second save of the season.

Carlos Pena continued his hot homecoming to Tampa Bay, finishing 2-for-4 with a solo home run, while Jeff Keppinger also had two hits and a solo blast. Hellickson (1-0) finished with four strikeouts and four walks.

Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Swisher all hit doubles for the Yankees, who saw starter Phil Hughes (0-1) yield two runs on five hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. Before today, New York had not started a season with three straight losses since 1998 when they ended the year with 114 regular season wins and a World Series title.

The Sports Network

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