By Bradley Walker, 1010 Sports

ST. PETERSBURG (CBS) Jeremy Hellickson has been watching his teammates take the mound and dominate opposing teams within the past week, and tonight he finally got his chance and did not disappoint.

He dealt eight scoreless innings and recorded five strikeouts in an 8-0 win against the Seattle Mariners Saturday night. The Rays are on a four-game tear and secured another series win by taking the first two games against Seattle at Tropicana Field.

With the win Tampa Bay moved a game closer to Boston and New York because both teams failed to win Saturday. The Rays sit eight games back from first place in the division and 7 1/2 back in the Wild Card race.

The pitching staff for the Rays has increased the intensity of the entire team with impressive outings from the entire rotation. On any given night, Tampa Bay has a starter on the mound that will give the team the best possible chance to win.  At any rate, the pitching has been a joy to watch.

Dominant outings on the mound seem to give the Rays more confidence at the plate. Johnny Damon got the wood going tonight with a triple in the first, then came around to score on a homer by Evan Longoria that gave Tampa Bay an early 2-0 lead.

The Rays tacked on three insurance runs in the third, and Longoria capped the scoring when he drove in another two runs in the eighth to bring his total to four RBIs on the night.

Winning is everything in professional sports, but there is plenty baseball to play and the last thing the Rays can do is let the success get to their heads.

“We’re still in a race here. That’s the biggest thing, is just trying to win every night and try and make it to the postseason,”Longoria said to reporters after the game.

We will see if the intensity persists as they finish up the three-game series with the Mariners tomorrow at 1:40 ET.



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