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Tampa Bay snaps Texas' winning streak; Shields wins consecutive starts

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Devil Rays' struggling bullpen came through in a big way.

Brian Meadows and Seth McClung combined for three scoreless innings, getting James Shields his second straight win as Tampa Bay beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 on Monday night.

Meadows, who had given up 16 runs over his previous 10 1/3 innings, followed Shields with two scoreless innings. McClung finished for his first major league save.

"That's the beauty of being in the bullpen," Meadows said. "You have a couple bad outings and you know you're going to be right back in there and get a chance to have a good one. It felt good to walk off and shake hands for a change."

McClung was sent to the minors to be converted from a starter to a closer on June 20 after going 2-10. The right-hander, who rejoined the team Aug. 3, made the most of his first save opportunity.

"The guys played real well," McClung said. "I just wanted to go out there and get three outs as quick as you can ... not mess up what the rest of the team had done."

The Devil Rays' bullpen entered with a 5.19 ERA. Tampa Bay has lost 12 times when ahead after six innings this season.

Shields (6-6) gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. After winning four straight starts in June, he went 0-6 in nine starts, then ended his skid by defeating Toronto on Aug. 16.

In Texas manager Buck Showalter's first game following a four-game suspension, Hank Blalock homered and had three RBI for the Rangers, whose three-game winning streak was stopped.

"No one in this locker room is taking Tampa lightly," Showalter said. "We won three of four on the road in Detroit, and we're going to try and win three of four here."

Showalter served his suspension following two days of trouble last week between the Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels.

"I feel like I managed every pitch the last four days anyway," said Showalter, who watched the Detroit series from the manager's office.

Adam Eaton (3-3) allowed four runs and 11 hits in five innings.

"My assessment of my performance: not very good," Eaton said. "All their runs were scored with two outs. It's a real frustrating feeling."

Damon Hollins hit an RBI single and Tomas Perez, in an 2-for-27 slide, had a run-scoring double to put Tampa Bay ahead 2-0 in the second. Blalock's 15th homer tied the score in the third, but B.J. Upton gave the Devil Rays a 3-2 lead on an RBI single in the fourth.

Blalock got the Rangers even with his second two-out RBI hit of the game, a run-scoring single in the fifth. He has driven in 37 runs this season with two outs.

Russell Branyan singled with two outs in the bottom half. He has 34 hits this season: 12 singles, 10 doubles and 12 homers.

Notes

  • Devil Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer said he would like to return next season, which would be his 59th in baseball. "The Devil Rays have been good to me," said Zimmer, who lives about 7 miles from Tropicana Field. "The job that I have, you couldn't ask for nothing better at the age of 75."
  • The Rangers recalled RHP Nick Masset from Triple-A Oklahoma. They also optioned LHP John Koronka to Oklahoma.
  • Upton (strained left shoulder) and 1B Greg Norton (sore left hamstring) both returned to the lineup. Norton set a career-high for hits by going 4-for-4.
  • Tampa Bay released RHP Chad Harville, who had been designated for assignment on Aug. 16.
  • The Rangers' bullpen has throw 18 consecutive scoreless innings, including three on Monday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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First baseman Greg Norton goes 4-for-4 against the Rangers.  (AP)
First baseman Greg Norton goes 4-for-4 against the Rangers. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

G. Norton
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
Texas

H. Blalock
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF5000012 .310
Michael Young, SS4120000 .307
Carlos Lee, LF3120100 .297
Mark Teixeira, 1B4010023 .281
Hank Blalock, 3B4123023 .289
Mark DeRosa, RF4000025 .322
Matt Stairs, DH4000000 .261
Ian Kinsler, 2B4010010 .305
Rod Barajas, C4010011 .257
    Gerald Laird, PR0000000 .329
Totals363931914 
Batting
2B - Michael Young (44, Shields), Carlos Lee (27, Shields), Ian Kinsler (21, Shields)
HR - Hank Blalock (15, Shields)
RBI - Hank Blalock 3 (79)
2-OUT RBI - Hank Blalock 3 (37)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Mark DeRosa 1
E - Michael Young (10, )
Texas Rangers
Adam Eaton (L,3-3) 51144220 4.45
C.J. Wilson 1.2100030 3.58
Rick Bauer 1.1200000 3.51
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Eaton 105-65, C.J. Wilson 23-17, Rick Bauer 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Eaton 4-8, C.J. Wilson 1-1, Rick Bauer 1-3
Batters Faced - Adam Eaton 27, C.J. Wilson 6, Rick Bauer 6
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
B.J. Upton, 3B5021020 .213
Ben Zobrist, SS5000002 .197
Carl Crawford, LF5000011 .313
Greg Norton, 1B4240000 .307
    Travis Lee, PR-1B0000000 .216
Jonny Gomes, DH4000005 .216
Russell Branyan, RF4011012 .213
    Rocco Baldelli, CF0000000 .284
Damon Hollins, CF-RF4131000 .228
Josh Paul, C2120200 .261
Tomas Perez, 2B4021016 .215
Totals3741442516 
Batting
2B - Greg Norton 3 (11, Eaton, Eaton, Eaton), Tomas Perez (10, Eaton)
RBI - B.J. Upton (3), Russell Branyan (27), Damon Hollins (29), Tomas Perez (15)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton (2), Russell Branyan (11), Damon Hollins (14), Tomas Perez (8)
CS - B.J. Upton (1, 2nd base by Eaton/Barajas)
Team LOB - 11
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
James Shields (W,6-6) 6833171 4.74
Brian Meadows (H,3) 2000020 5.43
Seth McClung (S,1) 1100000 6.57
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 98-61, Brian Meadows 30-20, Seth McClung 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 5-6, Brian Meadows 3-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 27, Brian Meadows 6, Seth McClung 4
Game Information
Attendance - 7820
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Gerry Davis