by Steve Carney
Jeremy Hellickson went out of spring on a sour note, and the Detroit Tigers held on to beat the Rays 8-3 in Friday's Grapefruit League road finale.
Hellickson allowed eight runs (six earned) on seven hits in just three innings of work. He walked two and struck out a pair.
The game started off poorly for the righthander, as he walked Austin Jackson, who scored two batters later on a double by Miguel Cabrera. Prince Fielder then launched a two-run blast to right to extend the lead to 3-0.
Detroit continued the barrage in the second, as Alex Avila hit a two-run shot to make it 5-0. Omar Infante reached on an error by Ryan Roberts and scored on a triple by Jackson to make it 6-0, and Fielder's sacrifice fly three batters later adding a fourth run in the frame.
Infante added Detroit's final run in the third on a two-out solo shot to left.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer dazzled in his six innings, allowing just a single hit and walking two while striking out nine.
Tampa Bay finally got on the board in the eighth inning, as Jake Hager started a two-out rally off Octavio Dotel with a single, and Sam Fuld broke the shutout with a two-run homer off the scoreboard in right field. Minor-leaguer Greg Sexton then doubled to left, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by James Harris two batters later to set the score.
Tampa Bay will have one final exhibition game Saturday at Tropicana Field against the same Tigers, with Matt Moore getting the start. First pitch is at 1:10, with pregame coverage starting on 620 WDAE at 12:30.