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James Shields Settles Down After Rough 1st Inning as Royals Beat Rays 8-2

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 30:  James Shields #33 of the Kansas City Royals throws against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on April 30, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Jeremy SickelContributor IIIApril 30, 2013

The Kansas City Royals finished the month of April with a 14-10 record on the back of another strong outing on Tuesday night from new staff ace James Shields.

Coming off back-to-back blowout losses to the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City's 8-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays is yet another sign that this team could be in store for meaningful baseball deep into the summer.

Shields struggled in the opening frame against his former team, throwing 27 pitches and allowing a two-run home run to Matt Joyce. He would eventually work through the seventh inning, retiring the final 13 batters he faced.

These are the exact moments that show why Kansas City was so aggressive in acquiring Shields in the offseason. Though they had to part with one of the top prospects in all of baseball (outfielder Wil Myers), starting pitching can no longer be looked at as this team's weak link—primarily because of Shields at the top of the rotation.

The Royals didn't get things going on offense until the sixth inning, exploding for four runs off of Rays' starter Alex Cobb—including Mike Moustakas' first home run of the season.

Kansas City would add another four runs to eventually come away with the comfortable win.

Just last April, the Royals were in the midst of the worst start in franchise history—losing 12-straight games at one point and not recording a home victory until May 3. Kansas City is now 7-4 at Kauffman Stadium in 2013.

The Royals have yet to lose three-consecutive games at any point this season.

These two teams are back at it again Wednesday night, as Luis Mendoza—who has made only three appearances all year, including just two starts because of the sporadic early schedule—takes the bump against Tampa starter Jeremy Hellickson.

 

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