James Shields remained in a Rays uniform after the trade deadline and paid the Rays back immediately with a masterful three-hit shutout Tuesday night in Oakland.
Tampa started the scoring with an RBI single by B.J. Upton in the top of the third. The next batter, Ben Zobrist, collected an RBI as he grounded out to second to put the Rays up 2-0.
The Rays struck again in the top of the sixth with an RBI single from Jeff Keppinger. Carlos Pena would score Ben Zobrist on a sacrifice fly to increase the Rays' lead to 4-0 later in the inning.
Still in the sixth, Sean Rodriguez would drive in Jeff Keppinger with a two-out RBI single to give the Rays a 5-0 lead.
The Rays added another run in the seventh thanks to an error by Brandon Hicks that scored Desmond Jennings.
The Rays kept the runs coming in the ninth, as Jennings knocked in another run with an RBI single to make it 7-0.
The Rays would tack on one more later in the inning courtesy of a B.J. Upton fielder's choice.
James Shields finished it off in the ninth for his first complete game shutout of the season. He took a simple approach throwing mostly fastballs and changeups. He was aggressive and did not walk anyone while striking out eleven. The outing was by far his best of the year, and he was incredibly effiecient as he threw just 98 pitches.
The Rays are now 54-50. They continue to cut into the Yankees' division lead as they continue to struggle; Tampa's now 6.5 games behind in the AL East. In the Wild Card race they currently stand just 2.5 games out.
Notable Stat Lines:
- James Shields W(9-7) 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K
- Tommy Milone L(9-8) 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K
- Desmond Jennings (1-5) 2 R, RBI
- B.J. Upton (2-5) R, 2 RBI
- Ben Zobrist (1-5) R, RBI
- Jeff Keppinger (1-3) R, RBI
- Sean Rodriguez (1-3) BB, RBI
- click here for a full box score
Rays news and notes
- The Rays chose to stay quiet Tuesday afternoon in the trade deadline. However they did call up Josh Lueke from Triple-A to help out the 'pen (following Monday's 15-inning marathon), and Brooks Conrad was optioned to make room for him.
- Some bad news on Evan Longoria. His return has been delayed due to soreness in his hamstring, and he will likely be out of his minor league rehab assignement for two days.
- Tomorrow the Rays finish off this three game series with the Athletics. Alex Cobb (4-8 4.93 ERA) will take on Jarrod Parker ( 7-4 3.38 ERA); first pitch is at 3:35.