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Rays win on Shields’ 11th complete gem

September 6, 2011
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

ST. PETERSBURG (AP) - James Shields pitched a four-hitter for his major league-best 11th complete game and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the AL West-leading Texas Rangers 5-1 Monday.

Shields (14-10) struck out six and walked two. The only run he allowed scored on Michael Young's grounder with one out in the ninth.

"Whether they're stressful innings or not, I condition myself enough to go that deep into games," Shields said.

Shields also became the first AL pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1993 to have at least 200 strikeouts and 10 complete games in the same season when he fanned Josh Hamilton in the first inning.

"This year, the guy's been able to finish whatever he starts," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We haven't been able to figure him out."

Coupled with the Toronto Blue Jays' 1-0 11-inning victory over the Boston Red Sox Monday, the third-place Rays gained a game on the Red Sox, but remain 9 1/2 games behind the AL East Division-leading New York Yankees, who edged the Baltimore Orioles 11-10.

Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton homered for the Rays, who are 24-13 since July 28. The victory was the 500th overall for Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.

Texas starter Scott Feldman (1-1) gave up four runs and four hits in five innings. The Rangers were coming off a big series at Boston during which they won two of three.

Longoria hit a solo drive in the first for his 25th homer. He has 61 RBI over his last 67 games.

Casey Kotchman drove in two with a single and another run scored on John Jaso's double-play grounder as Tampa Bay went up 4-0 in the fourth. The Rays loaded the bases with one out on three walks from Feldman.

Upton added a solo shot in the seventh.



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