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James Shields Pitches Tampa Bay Rays To Series Win

ST. PETERSBURG - AUGUST 01:  Pitcher James Shields #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on August 1, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Christopher WoodleyContributor IIIAugust 1, 2010

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields is nicknamed “Big Game.” While Sunday’s series finale against the New York Yankees may not have been the biggest game of the year, Shields lived up to his nickname.

Shields tossed 7.1 scoreless innings to lead Tampa Bay past New York 3-0 at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay shutout the Yankees for the first time since an 8-0 win on Sept. 23, 2006. New York was shutout for the fifth time this season.

Shields (10-9) entered the game 2-7 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 career starts against the Yankees. However, Shields limited the Yankees to only four hits with 11 strikeouts and only one walk. He struck out six consecutive batters at one point en route to his third consecutive victory. Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 30th save.

CC Sabathia (13-5) suffered his second consecutive loss after winning nine of his previous 10 starts. He allowed three runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings with three strikeouts and three walks. Sabathia entered the game with a career 33-9 record in August, including 10-0 over the last two seasons. Kerry Wood, acquired from the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, pitched an inning with three strikeouts and two walks in his Yankees debut.

Tampa Bay scored their first run in the bottom of the second. Willy Aybar led off with a ground rule double and scored on a two-out single by Kelly Shoppach.

The Rays added to their lead in the bottom of the third. With runners at second and third and no outs, Carl Crawford’s infield single scored the first run. Evan Longoria then hit into a double play to score B.J. Upton from third to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.

New York’s best chance to score came in the top of the second. Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada tallied consecutive singles to put runners at first and third with one out. However, Shields struck out Curtis Granderson and induced newcomer Austin Kearns to pop out and end the scoring threat.

New York will return to Yankee Stadium to open a three-game series Monday night against Toronto. Brandon Morrow (7-6, 4.62) will start for the Blue Jays, while the Yankees will counter with A.J. Burnett (9-8, 4.52). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher James Shields is nicknamed “Big Game.” While Sunday’s series finale against the New York Yankees may not have been the biggest game of the year, Shields lived up to his nickname.

Shields tossed 7.1 scoreless innings to lead Tampa Bay past New York 3-0 at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay shutout the Yankees for the first time since an 8-0 win on Sept. 23, 2006. New York was shutout for the fifth time this season.

Shields (10-9) entered the game 2-7 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 career starts against the Yankees. However, Shields limited the Yankees to only four hits with 11 strikeouts and only one walk. He struck out six consecutive batters at one point en route to his third consecutive victory. Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 30th save.

CC Sabathia (13-5) suffered his second consecutive loss after winning nine of his previous 10 starts. He allowed three runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings with three strikeouts and three walks. Sabathia entered the game with a career 33-9 record in August, including 10-0 over the last two seasons. Kerry Wood, acquired from the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, pitched an inning with three strikeouts and two walks in his Yankees debut.

Tampa Bay scored their first run in the bottom of the second. Willy Aybar led off with a ground rule double and scored on a two-out single by Kelly Shoppach.

The Rays added to their lead in the bottom of the third. With runners at second and third and no outs, Carl Crawford’s infield single scored the first run. Evan Longoria then hit into a double play to score B.J. Upton from third to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.

New York’s best chance to score came in the top of the second. Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada tallied consecutive singles to put runners at first and third with one out. However, Shields struck out Curtis Granderson and induced newcomer Austin Kearns to pop out and end the scoring threat.

New York will return to Yankee Stadium to open a three-game series Monday night against Toronto. Brandon Morrow (7-6, 4.62) will start for the Blue Jays, while the Yankees will counter with A.J. Burnett (9-8, 4.52). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

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