Jenkins pitches well in Blue Jays' loss

Associated Press Published: September 23, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Chad Jenkins was the tough-luck loser in his first big league start.

Jenkins allowed one run and two hits over five innings in the Toronto Blue Jays' 3-0 loss to the surging Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

"He did a very good job for us," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "From the second inning on he did a much better job of controlling the strike zone in the bottom half. Still, the one run allowed, an outstanding job on his part."

Farrell said Jenkins (0-2), who made 10 appearances out of the bullpen since being called up from the minors, will remain in the Toronto rotation. The right-hander struck out four and walked one.

"I'm excited to be starting again and kind of get back into the routine," Jenkins said. "I'm honored that he feels I've earned another one. Hopefully I can go out and repeat it again."

B.J. Upton hit his eighth home run in 14 games and Jeremy Hellickson won for the first time in more than a month as the Rays won their the fifth straight game. Tampa Bay is 3½ games behind the Oakland Athletics in the race for the AL's second wild-card spot.

"We're just going out and winning, and seeing what happens," Upton said. "We just have to go out and win as many ballgames as we can."

Toronto has lost six in a row and 10 of 12.

"We're all well aware of where we are," Farrell said. "We have to continue to go out and execute. There's no secret formula for this. It's not that we're looking for something that has been hidden in our clubhouse for the last month and a half. It's all here right in front of us."

Hellickson (9-10) pitched 5 2-3 innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six. The right-hander has given up only 16 runs in his last eight starts, but has won only two of them. Sunday marked his first win since Aug. 20.

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