for this game

Rays' Longoria knocks in 4, Shields shuts out Royals

Aug 10, 2011 - 5:07 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Evan Longoria hit a homer and drove in all four runs to back James Shields' fourth shutout of the season, as the Tampa Bay Rays blanked the Kansas City Royals, 4-0, in the second test of a four-game series.

Shields (11-9), who gave up six hits, posted consecutive winning starts for the first time since winning three straight from June 14-24. He struck out eight and walked three in his eighth complete game of the season.

The right-hander improved to 6-2 lifetime against Kansas City.

"We really feed off our defense and there were so many good moments tonight," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "As a starting pitcher, you have to be jacked up about all the stuff our defense did tonight."

The game lasted just 1 hour and 53 minutes, setting the Tampa Bay record for the shortest nine-inning game.

Jeff Francis (4-12) allowed four runs on five hits over seven innings for the Royals, who have lost the first two games of this series and four of five overall. He struck out four and walked zero.

The Rays got on the board in the first inning. Desmond Jennings was hit by a pitch and Johnny Damon reached on a bunt single. The runners then pulled off a double steal and Longoria followed with a two-run single to center.

Kansas City had plenty of chances to score. In the third, the visitors put men on first and second with nobody out. Alcides Escobar fouled out on a bunt and Alex Gordon grounded into a double play to end the threat.

The Royals put men on first and second with two outs in the fourth. This time around, Johnny Giavotella struck out swinging.

Shields had to work his way out of trouble for a third straight inning in the fifth. With men on first and second and one out, Gordon struck out swinging and Melky Cabrera grounded out to keep it 2-0.

Francis retired 15 straight batters prior to Jennings' leadoff single in the sixth. Jennings was caught trying to steal second, but Damon singled to right. Longoria followed with a two-run homer to left-center field to make it a 4-0 game.

"You take Longoria out of their lineup and we're still playing," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But, obviously, you can't do that."

Shields pitched a perfect ninth to close out his sixth career shutout.

Game Notes

The Rays have taken three of five from the Royals this season...Shields has 13 career complete games...Rays first baseman Casey Kotchman had an eight-game hitting streak snapped...Kansas City went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.