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Shields throws 6th CG, leads Rays over Astros

Jun 25, 2011 - 7:04 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - James Shields tossed his major league-leading sixth complete game to give Tampa Bay a 5-1 victory over Houston in the first of a three-game interleague series.

Shields (8-4) allowed one run on three hits and a walk while fanning nine in his third straight complete game victory. He also surpassed Joe Kennedy for the club record for complete games in a season. Kennedy threw five in 2002.

"I definitely didn't think it was going to be this many. I thought I was trying to get three or four or something like that," said Shields. "It's unbelievable. This is not how I expected to start but this is exactly how I wanted to start."

Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton hit back-to-back homers as the Rays won for the sixth time in seven games.

Wandy Rodriguez (5-4), who had won his last three starts, allowed five runs on six hits and two walks through six innings. It was his first loss in exactly two months.

Chris Johnson knocked in the lone run for the Astros, losers in four of their last five.

Tampa Bay got all the run support Shields would need with a four-run third inning, all with two outs. After Rodriguez fanned Elliot Johnson and Shields to start the frame, Sean Rodriguez singled to left field and then stole second before coming home on a Ben Zobrist base hit.

Longoria came up next and blasted a homer over the left-field fence. Upton followed suit with a home run to left that was reviewed because of possible fan interference, but the shot was upheld as it was determined the fan did not reach over the wall to grab the ball.

During Elliot Johnson's at-bat in the inning, catcher J.R. Towles took a foul ball that bounced off his mask and his chin and knocked him out of the game. He had to leave because his chin was bleeding profusely and was replaced by Carlos Corporan behind the dish.

Towles received 11 stitches in his chin and is listed as day-to-day.

"It's one of those things where you want to get back out there. Hopefully it's only a few games," Towles said about how much time he will miss.

The Rays added another run in the fifth on Longoria's RBI single to make it a 5-0 game.

Houston got on the board in the seventh inning. Brett Wallace hustled out a two-out, infield single and came around to score on Chris Johnson's double to deep center field. Shields was able to limit the damage as Clint Barmes flied out to center to end the inning.

That was the only time in the contest Houston would have a runner reach scoring position.

Game Notes

Shields improved to 5-1 on the road this season...Shields threw 76 of his 106 pitches for strikes...Hunter Pence returned to Houston's lineup Friday after missing the last five games with a sprained elbow...Tampa Bay improved to 24-16 on the road this season.

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    Rays 5, Astros 1  FinalJun 27 12:31 PM

  • TAMPA BAY: 5
    HOUSTON: 1

    Jun 24 10:41 PM

  • Chris Johnson doubled to center scoring Brett Wallace with two out. Runner on second and Clint Barmes due up.

    Rays 5, Astros 1  Bot 7, 2 OutsJun 24 10:08 PM

  • B.J. Upton grounded into a double play, third to second to first. On the play, Evan Longoria out at second to end the inning.

    Rays 5, Astros 0  Mid 5Jun 24 9:31 PM

  • Carlos Corporan grounded out to first. None on with two outs and Wandy Rodriguez due up.

    Rays 4, Astros 0  Bot 3, 2 OutsJun 24 9:02 PM

  • Ben Zobrist singled to right scoring Sean Rodriguez with two out. Runner on first and Evan Longoria due up.

    Rays 1, Astros 0  Top 3, 2 OutsJun 24 8:50 PM
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    Rays 1, Astros 0  Top 3, 2 OutsJun 24 8:50 PM
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    Rays 0, Astros 0  Top 3, 1 OutJun 24 8:40 PM
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    Rays 0, Astros 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 24 8:26 PM

  • TAMPA BAY: 0
    HOUSTON: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jun 24 8:09 PM
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    Rays vs. AstrosJun 24 8:15 AM