It was a great atomsphere at the trop Tuesday night as Rays fans were buzzing with excitement for the return of Evan Longoria as the Rays took on the Blue Jays.
For the second straight week James Shields took it to the opposing hittters for his second straight outstanding outing. Coming off a complete game shutout in his last start, Shields delivered once again with eight strong innings of one-run ball.
The Rays kicked off the scoring in the second with an RBI single by Sean Rodriguez that scored Ryan Roberts to make it 1-0.
They would add two sacrifice flies in the third inning to make it 3-0. One was by Evan Longoria—who just missed a grand slam and sent the right fielder to the wall— and the other was by Jeff Keppinger.
Shields’ 13 inning scoreless streak ended in the fourth when Colby Rasmus hit a solo shot to make it 3-1.
Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double in the fifth to drive in Jennings and make it 4-1.
That would be the final score of the ballgame, and Fernando Rodney entered in the ninth to pick up his 33rd save of the season
The Rays are now 57-52, which puts them six games back of the division and 1.5 games out of the Wild Card.
Notable Stat Lines
- James Shields (W,10-7): 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K
- J.A. Happ (L,7-10): 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K
- Evan Longoria (1-3): RBI
- Desmond Jennings (2-3): 2 R’s
- Ben Zobrist (1-3): BB, 2B, RBI
- click here for a full box score
Rays News and Notes
- Brooks Conrad has been designated for assignment. This could be the end of Conrad's tenure with the Rays.
- The Rays are going to start sitting Carlos Pena more often against left-handed pitching, like they did Tuesday night.
- Jeff Niemann (broken leg) is set to begin a four-start rehab assignment tonight in Class A+ Charlotte.
- If the Rays win today or Thursday, it will be the 16th consecutive home series the Rays have won against the Jays.
- Since the All-Star break, the Rays have MLB's best ERA (2.28) and opponents average (.198
- Tomorrow will be game two of the series. It will be Carlos Villanueva (6-1, 3.19 ERA) VS. Alex Cobb (5-8, 4.60 ERA); first pitch is at 7:10.