Tigers
Rays
3 - 5 Final
  for this game

Shields bounces back to stifle Tigers

May 31, 2007 - 3:15 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- James Shields almost did not make it out of the first inning. After that, he was brilliant.

Shields battled back from a rocky beginning to pitch a complete game and lead the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Elijah Dukes and Brendan Harris each hit home runs and Akinori Iwamura had three hits as the Devil Rays erased a three-run deficit to take the rubber game of the three-game set.

"Beating the American League champions two of three games is pretty big for us," Shields said.

The 25-year-old Shields (4-0) has been the ace of Tampa Bay's staff but he was rocked for three runs and five hits in the Tigers' first at-bat.

"When you give up three runs in the top of the first, it's tough to come back," Shields said. "I had to make an adjustment and make it quick. I just tried to keep my team in the ballgame the best I could."

Instead of unraveling, Shields rebounded well, allowing just two hits in the next eighth innings and setting down 13 straight at one point to pick up his first victory since May 3 against Minnesota.

"I knew the right guy was out there," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "I saw him being in control the whole game. He said he was going to give up three and that's it."

Shields allowed three runs and seven hits, striking out four and walking one in his second complete game of the season.

"Shields is the real deal," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He didn't cave in. I like the way he took the bull by the horns, didn't panic and stayed within himself. After the first, he shut us down."

Shields had failed to get a decision in his previous four starts despite pitching at least seven innings in each one and allowing a total of just eight runs.

"He was determined to keep us in the ballgame," Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton said. "He's pitched a lot of good games. To come back and throw a complete game was great."

While Shields shut down Detroit after the opening inning, his teammates chipped away at the Tigers' deficit with a single run in the second inning and two each in the fifth and sixth to knock out starter Nate Robertson (4-5).

The Detroit lefthander had slumped of late with three losses in his last four outings, giving up double-digit hit totals in each defeat, and could not hold the 3-0 lead.

With two outs in the second, Iwamura singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Jorge Cantu's double down the left field line.

Dukes led off the fifth with a towering home run to left field to slice the deficit to 3-2. The Devils Rays tied it later in the inning when Upton singled, moved to third on Robertson's throwing error and scored on a single by Carl Crawford.

Tampa Bay finally chased Robertson in the sixth, as Harris hit a one-out homer to make it 4-3. It was his Harris' third blast of the season and first since April 15, ending the night for Robertson, who was charged with four runs and nine hits. He struck out three and walked three.

"It's frustrating," Robertson said. "A lot of balls found holes."

Zach Miner relieved Robertson and promptly walked Dukes and allowed an RBI double to B.J. Upton to give the Devils Rays a 5-3 lead.

Detroit erupted for 14 runs Tuesday night and came out swinging again Wednesday against Shields.

"I even leaned over to (pitching coach Jim) Hickey and said, 'I've seen Tim Belcher do this in the first inning and have a complete game,' " Maddon said. "Shields has got great makeup. They were going to attack him early."

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Shields' first two pitches of the game a triple by Curtis Granderson tripled and Placido Polanco's single.

Gary Sheffield followed with a single and Carlos Guillen and Marcus Thames added with run-scoring base hits for a 3-0 lead.

When Shields took the mound for the ninth inning, he received a standing ovation from the crowd.

"That was something special," Shields said. "It got me through the inning. Getting a complete game means a lot, it's another milestone in my early career."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 1
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 x 5 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - NATE ROBERTSON, ZACH MINER (6TH), BOBBY SEAY (8TH) AND IVAN
    RODRIGUEZ
    TAM - JAMES SHIELDS AND DIONER NAVARRO

    HOME RUNS: DET - NONE
    TAM - ELIJAH DUKES (10) O

    May 30 9:45 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY B.J. UPTON SCORED ELIJAH DUKES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B UPTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TAMPA BAY 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C CRAWFORD (.305, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Tigers vs. RaysMay 30 9:02 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRENDAN HARRIS (3) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3, TAMPA BAY 4
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E DUKES (.223, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Tigers vs. RaysMay 30 8:51 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARL CRAWFORD SCORED B.J. UPTON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C CRAWFORD ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TAMPA BAY 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: T WIGGINTON (.249, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Tigers vs. RaysMay 30 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ELIJAH DUKES (10) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3, TAMPA BAY 2
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.319, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Tigers vs. RaysMay 30 8:32 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JORGE CANTU SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CANTU ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: D NAVARRO (.185, 0 HR, 9 RBI)

    Tigers vs. RaysMay 30 7:45 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 3 3 5 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: DET - NATE ROBERTSON
    TAM - JAMES SHIELDS

    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E DUKES (.221, 9 HR, 18 RBI)
    B UPTON (.321, 8 HR, 28 RBI)
    C CRAWFORD (.305, 5 HR, 29

    Tigers vs. RaysMay 30 7:35 PM