Jeremy Hellickson earned American League Rookie of the Year honors for his work in 2011.
On Sunday afternoon, the cool right-hander picked up where he left off by calmly carving up the Yankees on his 25th birthday, leading the way in a 3-0 Rays win at Tropicana Field with 30,413 watching.
"That was a good birthday present right there," the understated Hellickson said.
The win gave the Rays their third sweep of the Yankees in club history for series of three games or more. In addition, the Rays have now won seven straight games against their AL East rivals. Tampa Bay has also matched its best start in franchise history at 3-0, tying the previous mark set in 2002, when the club swept the Tigers in a three-game series to start the season.
"We played really well for three games in a row, and the pitching tonight, Jeremy really permitted that," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The bullpen was a little bit taxed because of yesterday's game. But he was outstanding. We had just enough offense, worked some good at-bats, played some defense -- we played well for the first three games."
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