ST. PETERSBURG (CBS) James Shields worked nine innings on Labor Day to pick up his 14th win of the season and a major league best 11th complete game of the year.
After taking two of three from the Orioles, the Rays find themselves on a three-game win streak after defeating the Texas Rangers Monday afternoon. They move to 77-63 on the year and remain seven games behind Boston in the AL Wild Card race.
With 13, 130 on hand at the Trop, Shields handled the troublesome Rangers lineup with ease, giving up four hits and one earned run through nine frames.
He left Texas feeling helpless at the plate, while Tampa Bay found a rhythm early against opposing pitcher Scott Feldman. Evan Longoria broke through in the first inning with a solo homer to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. Casey Kotchman helped the offensive cause in the fourth when he drove in two runs on a ground ball single to center field.
Shaun Rodriguez ended the scoring in the fourth when he made it home on a double play ball hit by John Jaso to end the inning.
B.J Upton hit a solo homer in the seventh to give Shields a five-run cushion, which was more than enough support for the Rays’ right-hander.
Tampa Bay’s starting rotation has exceeded expectations this season, and has proven to be one of the toughest starting five in all of baseball.
The Rays have won three consecutive games at Tropicana Field during their nine-game homestand, and look to take their fourth straight against the Rangers tomorrow night at 7:10 PM ET.