Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Shields shuts out Red Sox, snaps nine-game win streak
Well it was bound to happen at some point. As sure as nobody will ever care about the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida and they'll never build a decent fan base in the land of medicare and blue hair, the Boston Red Sox weren't going to win all their remaining games in 2011.
"Big Game" James Shields (6-4) finally lived up to his preposterous nickname with a 4-0 shutout (his third of the season) over the Red Sox (39-27) in the series opener last night at Tropicana Field.
Shields allowed five hits with three walks and five strikeouts as the Rays (36-31) backed his outstanding start with some timely hitting off Boston starter Tim Wakefield (3-2).
In what was likely his last start (for now) with Andrew Miller getting called up from Pawtucket, Wakefield acquitted himself well. He went seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with five walks and two strikeouts.
Adrian Gonzalez had three hits but the rest of the Red Sox, including Carl Crawford who was 0 for 3 in his return to the Trop, couldn't put anything together at the plate.
Justin Ruggiano gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the fifth as he jumped on a high knuckleball from Wakefield.
Two passed balls in the sixth by Jarrod Saltalamacchia gifted a run to Tampa Bay.
Former Red Sox great Casey Kotchman made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the eighth and John Jaso added another RBI single for the final Tampa Bay run in the frame.
Not that anyone in New England will be watching, save for until the puck drops (in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals: Bruins vs. Canucks) and between periods, but the baseball game tonight should be a good one with Josh Beckett taking on Rays youngster Jeremy Hellickson.