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Kansas City at Tampa Bay

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Kansas City (21-37)000010010261
Tampa Bay (24-31) «01110001x470

Devil Rays 4, Royals 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- No one in Tampa Bay's clubhouse is ready to declare James Shields the ace of the Devil Rays' young pitching staff. But he just might be the most consistent starter.

Shields took a two-hitter into the eighth inning and Carlos Pena homered for the second straight day Monday to lead the Devil Rays to a 4-2 victory over Kansas City and a split of a four-game series between last-place teams.

"He's pitched so well," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said after Shields (5-0) had his ninth consecutive outing of at least seven innings. "The team goes out there with a different mental edge about it."

With All-Star Scott Kazmir struggling to win, in part because of high pitch counts, Shields has been Tampa Bay's best starting pitcher. He has one complete game and exited each of his other 11 starts with the lead or the score tied.

"That kid is pretty good. He's been good all year," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. "He's athletic. Looks like he knows what he's doing."

Shields struck out five, walked one and was headed for his second straight complete game before giving up John Buck's second home run of the day and a single to Tony Pena with one out in the eighth.

Relievers Casey Fossum, Shawn Camp and Gary Glover protected a one-run lead the rest of the eighth and closer Al Reyes came on in the ninth for his 14th save in as many chances. With two on and one out, Reyes retired Buck on a popup and struck out Mark Grudzielanek.

"He's unbelievable," Shields said of Reyes, who won the closer job after not pitching in the majors last season following Tommy John surgery in 2005. "He has an unbelievable amount of confidence. ... It's nice to have a veteran pitcher late in the ball game."

Pena's homer to right-center off Gil Meche (3-5) was his 11th of the season. The Devil Rays added an unearned run in the third when Dioner Navarro was hit by a pitch, moved to third when center fielder David DeJesus muffed a fly ball for an error, and scored on Elijah Dukes' sacrifice fly.

Doubles by Pena and Ty Wigginton produced another run for a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

That turned out to be enough support for Shields, who allowed two hits over the last eight innings of a 5-3 complete-game victory over Detroit last Wednesday and hadn't yielded a run in 12 innings before Buck's solo homer in the fifth.

"I made about two mistakes, and both of them were to him," Shields said of Buck, who has 10 homers.

The 25-year-old right-hander retired 17 of his last 18 batters in the complete game against the Tigers and was just as impressive against the Royals, retiring 11 in a row before Mark Teahen singled for Kansas City's first hit with two outs in the fourth.

Buck's second homer trimmed Kansas City's deficit to 3-2. The Devil Rays added a run in the eighth on Carl Crawford's triple and Pena's double on a high pop fly that dropped between first and second base for an infield hit.

Meche, who has lost four straight decisions, allowed three runs and four hits in six-plus innings.

"He was good enough to win the game, good enough to keep us in the game," Bell said. "That's all we ask."

Notes

  • Crawford tied Aubrey Huff for the franchise record for hits (870) with his eighth-inning triple.
  • At 25, Shields is the oldest member of a revamped rotation that now features the youngest AL starting five since Cleveland had a rotation of Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee, Billy Traber, Jason Davis and C.C. Sabathia in 2003.
  • After getting 23 hits in winning the first two games of the series, the Royals were limited to 11 in losses Sunday and Monday.
  • Devil Rays 3B Akinori Iwamura sat out for the second straight day with a bruised left eye. He will not travel with the team for a three-game series that begins Tuesday in Toronto.
  • The Devil Rays placed C Shawn Riggans on the 15-day disabled list with right elobw tendinitis. To replace him, the team purchased the contract of C Raul Casanova from Triple-A Durham.
 
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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James Shields proves he's the ace in Tampa, going at least seven innings for the ninth straight time.   (AP)
James Shields proves he's the ace in Tampa, going at least seven innings for the ninth straight time. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Shields
IP 7.1
H 4
ER 2
BB 1
K 5
Tampa Bay

C. Pena
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4010000 .256
Esteban German, 2B-3B3000101 .266
Mark Teahen, RF4010013 .277
Mike Sweeney, DH4010001 .243
    Angel Berroa, PR-DH0000000 .091
Alex Gordon, 3B-1B4000011 .172
Emil Brown, LF3000120 .221
John Buck, C4222002 .288
Ryan Shealy, 1B2000010 .219
   a- Shane Costa, PH1000000 .190
    Mark Grudzielanek, 2B1000012 .267
Tony Pena, SS3010010 .267
Totals3326227  
a-flied out for Shealy in the 8th
Batting
HR - John Buck 2 (10, Shields, Shields)
RBI - John Buck 2 (21)
2-OUT RBI - John Buck (5)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Mark Teahen 1
DP - Buck
E - David DeJesus (3, Dropped line drive(Next play)
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche (L,3-5) 6432131 3.00
Joel Peralta 1.2100010 4.17
Jimmy Gobble0211100 2.61
Ryan Braun 0.1000000 7.24
IBB - Norton by Jimmy Gobble
HBP - Navarro (by Gil Meche)
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 103-68, Joel Peralta 15-12, Jimmy Gobble 13-5, Ryan Braun 3-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 6-9, Joel Peralta 2-1
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 24, Joel Peralta 5, Jimmy Gobble 3, Ryan Braun 1
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Elijah Dukes, CF3001000 .208
B.J. Upton, 2B4000011 .311
Carl Crawford, LF4110000 .295
Greg Norton, DH3000120 .148
Carlos Pena, 1B3232100 .313
Ty Wigginton, 3B4021002 .246
Delmon Young, RF3000013 .245
Dioner Navarro, C2110000 .190
Brendan Harris, SS3000002 .298
Totals2947424  
Batting
2B - Carlos Pena 2 (7, Meche, Gobble), Ty Wigginton (10, Meche)
3B - Carl Crawford (7, Gobble)
HR - Carlos Pena (12, Meche)
SF - Elijah Dukes (1)
RBI - Elijah Dukes (20), Carlos Pena 2 (31), Ty Wigginton (28)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Pena (13), Ty Wigginton (10)
Team LOB - 5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
James Shields (W,5-0) 7.1422152 3.08
Casey Fossum0100000 7.74
Shawn Camp (H,9) 0.1000000 5.06
Gary Glover (H,2) 0.1000000 4.91
Al Reyes (S,14) 1100120 2.10
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 101-70, Casey Fossum 5-3, Shawn Camp 4-3, Gary Glover 4-3, Al Reyes 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 9-8, Shawn Camp 1-0
Batters Faced - James Shields 27, Casey Fossum 1, Shawn Camp 1, Gary Glover 1, Al Reyes 5
Game Information
Attendance - 9435
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Joe West