Royals
Rays
2 - 4 Final
  for this game

Shields improves to 5-0 as Devil Rays edge Royals

Jun 5, 2007 - 12:13 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays' pitching staff has been anything but perfect this season. But thanks to another strong outing, James Shields maintained his flawless personal record.

Shields pitched into the eighth inning Monday afternoon to lead the Devil Rays to a 4-2 triumph over the Kansas City Royals in the finale of a four-game series.

It was the fifth victory in the last eight contests for Tampa Bay, which salvaged a split of this four-game series.

The Devil Rays entered Monday's game with a team ERA of 5.46 - the worst mark in the majors. But that stigma certainly does not apply to Shields (5-0), who yielded two runs and four hits in 7 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old righthander walked one and struck out five.

After battling consistency issues throughout his 2006 rookie campaign, Shields leads the Devil Rays in wins, ERA (3.08), innings (90 2/3) and strikeouts (74).

Shields was just two outs shy of his second straight complete game. The righthander allowed three runs and seven hits in a 5-3 win over Detroit on Wednesday.

"When you have consecutive games like that it makes you more comfortable," Shields said. "When you keep this team in the ballgame we're going to fight back.

"Today I threw a lot more curveballs. Last year I would have probably not. I learned a lot last year and I've taken everything I learned last year into this year."

Shields retired the first 11 batters he faced and carried a shutout into the fifth inning before yielding a two-out solo homer to Buck, who blasted the righthander's first offering into the bleachers in left field to draw Kansas City within 3-1.

The Royals struck again in the eighth, when Buck led off the frame by crushing his second homer of the contest. It was the 10th homer this season for Buck, who recorded his third career multi-homer game.

"You know, I made two mistakes today, and both of them were to him," Shields said. "I was trying to go outside with both of them it just ran right back over the plate."

Shields retired Shane Costa on a flyout but was lifted after yielding a single to Tony Pena Jr. David DeJesus followed with a hit for Kansas City, but Tampa Bay righthanders Shawn Camp and Gary Glover retired the next two batters to preserve the 3-2 lead and protect Shields' win.

"I felt it was the right time to do it," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "With Casey out there it makes the decision a little bit easier. 101 pitches I saw a difference. I thought it was the right time to go get him there. He just really pitched a great game today again."

Al Reyes worked around a leadoff hit and a one-out walk in the ninth to record his 14th save.

The Devil Rays took the lead for good in the second inning, when Carlos Pena led off with a long homer against Royals ace Gil Meche (3-5). It was the team-leading 12th homer this season for Pena, who lined Meche's first offering over the wall in right field to make it 1-0.

Rookie Elijah Dukes lofted a sacrifice fly in the second to double the advantage, and Ty Wigginton plated Pena with an RBI double in the third to push the lead to 3-0.

Tampa Bay added an insurance run in unconventional fashion in the eighth against lefthander Jimmy Gobble, who yielded a two-out triple to Carl Crawford before intentionally walking Greg Norton.

That set the stage for Pena, who lifted a towering infield pop fly which should have been the third out of the frame. Kansas City rookie first baseman Alex Gordon - who normally plays third base - misjudged the pop up, however, and the ball fell to the ground without being touched.

"You don't have to hit the ball forward, you can hit it up," Pena said. "When I came on the visiting side I always thought this was a great place to hit. I enjoy being home. I'm incredibly blessed. I realize that. Just to be here and to be able to contribute."

Crawford scored easily, Norton advanced to third and Pena was credited with an RBI double on the play.

Despite pitching effectively, Meche lost his fourth consecutive start, allowing three runs - two earned - and four hits in six innings. The righthander walked one and struck out three but remained winless in his last six outings.

"It was a quality start that's my goal every time out," Meche said. "I know it's not fun to lose, I am pleased with the way I pitched."

"We had a couple of chances late," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. "He (Meche) was good enough to keep us in the game The ball in the eighth hit a wire I think."






  • 5
    roots
    creepyguy Added 5 roots

    Royals vs. RaysJun 4 11:15 PM


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

    BATTERIES: KAN - GIL MECHE, JOEL PERALTA (7TH), JIMMY GOBBLE (8TH), RYAN BRAUN
    (8TH) AND JOHN BUCK
    TAM - JAMES SHIELDS, CASEY FOSSUM (8TH), SHAWN CAMP
    (8TH), GARY GLOVER (8TH

    Jun 4 5:59 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED CARL CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON SECOND, G NORTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    TAMPA BAY 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: T WIGGINTON (.248, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Royals vs. RaysJun 4 5:43 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHN BUCK (10) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF JAMES SHIELDS.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, TAMPA BAY 3
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R SHEALY (.219, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. RaysJun 4 5:12 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHN BUCK (9) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF JAMES SHIELDS.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1, TAMPA BAY 3
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R SHEALY (.221, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. RaysJun 4 4:25 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TY WIGGINTON SCORED CARLOS PENA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    TAMPA BAY 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: D YOUNG (.248, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. RaysJun 4 4:18 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED DIONER NAVARRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HARRIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    TAMPA BAY 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.317, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. RaysJun 4 3:52 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS PENA (12) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF GIL MECHE.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: T WIGGINTON (.242, 10 HR, 27 RBI)

    Royals vs. RaysJun 4 3:30 PM