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Rays Open Season With Sweep Of Yankees

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DerekJeter (J. Meric/Getty Images Sport)

DerekJeter (J. Meric/Getty Images Sport)

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By FRED GOODALL,  AP Baseball Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Jeremy Hellickson came within one out of a three-hit shutout on his birthday and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 3-0 Sunday to complete a season-opening sweep and match the best start in club history.

Carlos Pena and Jeff Keppinger homered for Tampa Bay, which also started with three consecutive wins in 2002.

The Yankees are 0-3 for the first time since 1998, when they went on to win 114 games and the World Series.

Celebrating his 25th birthday, Hellickson (1-0) limited the Yankees to doubles by Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. The 2011 AL Rookie of the Year walked four, struck out four and was one out from his third career complete game and second shutout when he was replaced by Fernando Rodney.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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