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Tigers' Scherzer dominant for 6 innings

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm •  Published: March 29, 2013

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Jeremy Hellickson has not been happy with his performance for Tampa Bay all spring.

His manager is not worried.

The Rays' No. 2 starter allowed eight runs —six earned — in three innings of an 8-3 loss to the Detroit Tiger on Friday in his final tuneup before the regular season.

It's been a rough camp for Hellickson, who finished with a 6.75 ERA in Grapefruit League play. Hellickson, the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year, went 10-11 with a 3.10 ERA in last year while winning a Gold Glove.

"He's healthy, he's fine and that's all that matters," Joe Maddon said. "He'll be ready when it comes time to make his first start."

Hellickson said despite the results of his last five outings — 18 runs in 21 1-3 innings — he felt ready for the season. He will make his first start Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles.

"I haven't been pitching very good," Hellickson said. "I haven't been executing my pitches and I am pretty disappointed right now. That's not the way to go into the season."

Hellickson gave up homers to Prince Fielder, Alex Avila, and Omar Infante on Friday.

"I felt great the last two outings and I felt fine today," Hellickson said. "That's why it is so frustrating."

Hours after rotation-mate Justin Verlander got the biggest contract ever given to a pitcher, Max Scherzer extended his dominant spring training with six innings of one-hit ball. Scherzer, the Tigers' No. 5 starter, finishes the spring with a 0.57 ERA. He struck out nine and has only allowed one earned run over 25 1-3 innings.

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