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Shields goes distance as Rays down Rangers

Sep 6, 2011 - 3:35 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - James Shields threw his 11th complete game of the season to help the Tampa Bay Rays hand the Texas Rangers a 5-1 loss in the opener of a three-game set.

Shields (14-10) struck out six and walked two while giving up four hits and a run to win his third straight start and second in a row against the Rangers. Last Wednesday in Texas, he went eight innings in a 4-1 win. He's the first American League pitcher to have at least 11 complete games since Scott Erickson for Baltimore in 1998 while Randy Johnson was the last major league hurler to record 11 complete games when he did so with Arizona in 1999.

"I used my cutter a little more tonight cause I wanted to change my approach," said Shields. "I had to give them a different look since I pitched against them recently. I just mixed things up and was able to get some success with it."

Also, Shields' first strikeout of the game gave him 200 on the season. He became the first American League pitcher since Johnson in 1993 to record at least 10 complete games and 200 strikeouts in one season. CC Sabathia was the last pitcher to accomplish the feat and he did it in 2008 between Cleveland and Milwaukee.

Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton each hit a solo home run while Casey Kotchman added a two-run single for the Rays, who have won three in a row.

Scott Feldman (1-1) was touched for four runs on four hits over five innings to pick up the loss for the Rangers, who had taken two of three against the Red Sox over the weekend.

"He struggled out there and they delivered when they had the opportunity," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "He gave us what he got out there."

Texas' lead in the AL West has fallen to 2 1/2 games over the Angels, who beat Seattle later on Monday.

The Rays struck in the first inning when Longoria hit a line drive off the left field foul pole.

The fourth inning saw Tampa Bay add to its advantage. With the bases loaded and no outs, Kotchman hit a single to center to score Longoria and Matt Joyce. John Jaso then hit into an inning-ending double play, but not before Sean Rodriguez scored for a 4-0 lead.

The seventh inning saw Upton smack his 19th homer of the year.

Texas, meanwhile, didn't move a runner past second until the sixth inning when Elvis Andrus hit a one-out double and moved to third on a Josh Hamilton groundout. Shields then got Michael Young to ground out back to the mound to end the frame.

The Rangers then went down in order the next two innings before breaking the shutout in the ninth when Young grounded out to score Andrus.

Game Notes

It was the 500th win in Joe Maddon's managerial career. Also, the Tampa Bay franchise now has 999 wins over its history...The Rays improved to just 2-8 on Labor Day while Texas fell to 18-21 on the holiday...Texas designated hitter Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 11 games while right fielder David Murphy had his snapped at 10 games...Texas has won four of the seven games between the two clubs.






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  • Michael Young grounded out short to first, scoing Elvis Andrus with two outs. None on and Adrian Beltre due up.

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  • Evan Longoria walked. Runner on first with two outs and Ben Zobrist due up.

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  • John Jaso grounded into a double play, first to short, scoring Sean Rodriguez. Casey Kotchman out at second to end the inning.

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  • Casey Kotchman single to center scored Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce with one out. On the play, Sean Rodriguez advances to third. Runners on first and third and John Jaso due up.

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  • Ben Zobrist flied out to left to end the inning.

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