HOUSTON -- Over his last three starts, Jeremy Hellickson has yielded three total runs. The righty looks to continue that streak when he takes the mound Friday against the White Sox at Tropicana Field.
"I'm just getting ahead early," Hellickson said of his recent success. "Guys are putting it in play earlier. I'm not getting as many foul balls as maybe I was early. The defense has been making some unbelievable plays behind me. That keeps the pitch count down."
Hellickson is hoping for different results than the last time he faced the White Sox, when he gave up five runs on five hits over six innings in Chicago on April 25.
"They've got some really good hitters in the lineup," he said. "I'm going to have to be at the top of my game again."
Keeping his walk total down will be key. Hellickson issued four free passes in Chicago.
"It was early in the year," he said. "I wasn't too good. It was during that stretch where I had a few walks, and then give up the big hit. Nothing was really going right at that time. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little different.
"I've been able to get ahead with all three of my pitches. I wasn't able to do that early in the year. The confidence is a little bit higher now, too."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.