Audio: Count 'em -- 13 strikeouts
Jeremy Hellickson's player page
Catch the hurler in Vero Beach
Vero Beach starter Jeremy Hellickson felt "pretty good" during warmups going into Tuesday night's game against Jupiter.
That may be the understatement of the season to date.
Hellickson (2-0) fanned a career-high 13 batters in seven scoreless innings. He scattered three hits without issuing a walk as the Devil Rays topped the visiting Hammerheads, 3-1.
"Once I got out there, I had command of my pitches," the 21-year-old right-hander said. "I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes.
"The fastball felt good," he added. "I was able to throw it in or out. The curve felt really good, better than it felt in the first two games."
Hellickson, selected by Tampa Bay in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, has 23 strikeouts in 18 innings over three appearances this season and a 1.00 ERA.
His previous K high for a single game was 10, which he accomplished on May 15, 2007 against Rome and a few months later on Aug. 10 against Greensboro. He sported a 13-3 record with a 2.67 ERA for Columbus in the Class A South Atlantic League.
On Tuesday, the Devil Rays amassed 18 strikeouts. Reliever Chris Kelly fanned one and closer Neal Frontz struck out four in an inning-plus for his second save.
John Matulia, Cesar Suarez and Matthew Fields each had an RBI for Vero Beach (5-7).
Jeff Allison (0-2) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits, fanning two and walking one over five frames to take the loss for Jupiter (8-4).
Alan Friedman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.