By Bradley Walker, 1010 Sports

Oakland (CBS) The Tampa Bay Rays haven’t had the road trip they had hoped for, but Sunday’s win was a dominant one that displayed why this team is ready to make strides to remain in the playoff picture.

Jeremy Hellickson (10-7) started for Tampa Bay and secured the three-game series for the Rays, with the youngster pitching a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He finished the night giving up five hits and one run in seven innings pitched and drew an 8-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

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With the win Tampa Bay closed out their 10-game road trip with a 4-6 record and gained some momentum before they head home to face the Toronto Blue Jays to open up a ten-game homestand at Tropicana Field Tuesday night.

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After mustering up only one hit the day before, the Rays responded Sunday with 11 hits and eight runs, led offensively by Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist. The teammates had three hits each and drove in a combined six RBIs to top Seattle starter Jason Vargas and the slumping Mariners.

At 56-50 this season, Tampa Bay will need to start stringing together more wins if they are serious about a playoff spot. They remain 10 1/2 games under Boston and eight games behind the Yankees.

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The road trip did not have the outcome Manager Joe Maddon had imagined, but it has certainly shown the Rays’ managers what improvements need to be made as the season continues.