|Tampa Bay (13-15) «||0||0||4||1||0||0||0||1||x||6||10||0|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon called it a "growth moment" when James Shields worked out of a difficult situation midway through the game.
Shields gave up three runs over 7 1/3 innings and Rocco Baldelli had a two-run homer as Tampa Bay beat the Minnesota Twins 6-4 on Thursday night.
Shields (3-0) allowed nine hits, including singles to the final two batters he faced in the eighth. He worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth by striking out Joe Mauer and getting Justin Morneau to hit into a double play.
"He kept his composure very nicely," Maddon said. "Made some wonderful pitches. Another wonderful performance."
Shields struck out eight and walked two. His 45 strikeouts tie him for the AL lead with Minnesota's Johan Santana.
With the victory, Tampa Bay (13-15) moved into a second-place tie in the AL East with Toronto. The Devil Rays have never finished higher than fourth in franchise history.
"It's awesome," Shields said. "It's always fun to win."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was impressed by Shields.
"He was really tough on us," Gardenhire said. "He made some big pitches through pretty good hitters. You can't ask much more out of a young pitcher than that."
Baldelli homered off Ramon Ortiz (3-2) during a four-run third that put the Devil Rays ahead 4-1.
The Twins closed to 5-4 in the eighth on Jason Tyner's sacrifice fly and run-scoring singles by Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto off Shawn Camp. Al Reyes pitched the ninth for his 10th save in as many chances.
After Baldelli's homer in the third, Tampa Bay loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a throwing error by Ortiz to second base on a potential double-play grounder by Ty Wigginton.
B.J. Upton followed with an RBI single and Carlos Pena hit a sacrifice fly. The Devil Rays are 2-for-11 with the bases loaded -- with both hits by Upton -- and less than two outs this season. Upton is 14-for-25 with runners in scoring position.
Tampa Bay took two of three in the series. The Devil Rays have won just five of the past 22 games against Minnesota.
Minnesota's Torii Hunter extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games with an eighth-inning single. Ortiz allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings. He is 6-2 in 11 career starts against Tampa Bay.
This (Tampa Bay) lineup is pretty scary," Mauer said. "A lot of them have a lot of pop, so if you miss your spot they can make you pay."
Carl Crawford made it 5-1 on a fourth-inning RBI double. It appeared that Crawford would get a triple, but he stumbled and fell after rounding second base and had return to second after getting up.
"I got caught looking back too much, and my feet didn't catch up this time," Crawford said. "My feet usually catch up. They didn't catch up this time."
Pena hit his fifth homer, a solo shot in the eighth to give the Devil Rays a 6-4 lead. One day after having a foul ball get stuck on a catwalk and later getting an infield single that struck the overhanging structure, Pena's estimated 420-foot drive to center hit another catwalk.
"It's funny how it happened today," Pena said.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead on Morneau's sacrifice fly in the first.
X-rays taken on Minnesota RF Michael Cuddyer (bruised back) were negative. He was hurt after stumbling and then doing a forward roll between second and third Tuesday. "It's sorer today than it was yesterday," Gardenhire said. ... Minnesota LHP Dennys Reyes has been slowed by a tender left shoulder, leaving his status for Friday's game against Boston undetermined. "We'll see where he's at tomorrow," Gardenhire said. ... Twins RHP Juan Rincon has experienced elbow soreness and will have his status determined daily. ... Tampa Bay minor league RHP Wade Townsend, taken in the first round of the 2005 draft, left his start Wednesday for Class-A Columbus with arm sorness after three innings. The Devil Rays don't believe the problem is serious. Townsend missed last season after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery. ... Mauer struck out twice in consecutive games for just the third time in his career.
|Players of the Game|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||5||1||3||0||0||0||0||.314|
|Nick Punto, 3B||4||0||4||1||1||0||0||.250|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||0||0||0||1||2||8||.354|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||4||0||0||1||0||1||3||.270|
|Torii Hunter, CF||5||1||1||0||0||2||1||.330|
|Jason Kubel, LF||5||1||3||0||0||0||0||.268|
|Jeff Cirillo, DH||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.300|
|Josh Rabe, PR-DH||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.208|
|Jason Tyner, RF||3||0||0||1||0||2||2||.322|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||3||0||1||1||0||1||0||.259|
|SF - Justin Morneau (1), Jason Tyner (1)|
|RBI - Nick Punto (6), Justin Morneau (17), Jason Tyner (6), Jason Bartlett (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Nick Punto (4), Jason Bartlett (4)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|DP - Castillo-Bartlett-Morneau|
|E - Justin Morneau (1, Throwing), Ramon Ortiz (1, Throwing), Jason Tyner (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Ramon Ortiz (L,3-2)||4||7||5||4||0||3||1||3.23|
|HBP - Upton (by Ramon Ortiz)|
|WP - Ramon Ortiz (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ramon Ortiz 75-48, Glen Perkins 38-26, Jesse Crain 19-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ramon Ortiz 6-5, Glen Perkins 3-3, Jesse Crain 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Ramon Ortiz 22, Glen Perkins 10, Jesse Crain 4|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Rocco Baldelli, DH||4||2||1||2||0||0||2||.273|
|Elijah Dukes, CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.247|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.288|
|Ty Wigginton, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|B.J. Upton, 2B||3||0||2||1||0||1||0||.381|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||3||1||1||2||0||0||1||.207|
|Jonny Gomes, RF||3||0||0||0||0||3||5||.152|
|Delmon Young, RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.245|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.209|
|Brendan Harris, SS||4||1||3||0||0||0||0||.350|
|2B - Carl Crawford (8, Ortiz), B.J. Upton (8, Perkins)|
|HR - Rocco Baldelli (5, Ortiz), Carlos Pena (5, Crain)|
|SF - Carlos Pena (2)|
|RBI - Rocco Baldelli 2 (12), Carl Crawford (17), B.J. Upton (21), Carlos Pena 2 (15)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (10)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Harris-Pena|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|James Shields (W,3-0)||7.1||9||3||3||2||8||0||3.74|
|Shawn Camp (H,5)||0.1||3||1||1||1||0||0||7.71|
|Juan Salas (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.95|
|Al Reyes (S,10)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.29|
|HBP - Bartlett (by James Shields)|
|Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 109-69, Shawn Camp 14-9, Juan Salas 3-2, Al Reyes 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 7-6, Juan Salas 1-0|
|Batters Faced - James Shields 33, Shawn Camp 5, Juan Salas 1, Al Reyes 3|
|Attendance - 8793|
|Game Time - 2:31|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Larry Young|