Boston at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: J. Shields (3-1) L: J. Beckett (2-2)
HR: BOS - None   TB - E. Longoria (3)

Shields untouchable for Rays in sweep of Red Sox wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- James Shields pitched Tampa Bay into a rare position. The Rays are now the co-leaders in the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles.

Shields threw a two-hitter for his first career shutout, Evan Longoria homered and the Rays beat Josh Beckett and Boston 3-0 Sunday to complete their first three-game sweep of the Red Sox.

"It's a great feeling, but it's very early in the season," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's not about winning. It's how we did it, with the pitching and defense and we get the hits when we needed them. We're playing the game right, and if you do that, you'll win your share of games."

Coupled with the Orioles' 6-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox, the Rays' victory gave them a share of first place. It's the latest in any season during the team's 11-year history that Tampa Bay has held a share of the division lead.

Tampa Bay has won six straight for its longest winning streak since a six-game run July 28-Aug. 3, 2005. The Rays (14-11) are three games over .500 for the first time since starting the season 3-0 in 2002. It's also the latest in the season the Rays have ever been three games above .500.

"This is huge for us," Shields said. "If you look back, this is the best April we've ever had."

Shields (3-1) struck out seven and walked one. Longoria made it 2-0 with a solo homer off Beckett in the seventh.

Beckett (2-2) struck out a career-high 13 and walked one in seven innings for the Red Sox, who have lost five straight. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- and four hits.

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game. With a day game after a night contest, Boston manager Terry Francona had left fielder Manny Ramirez DH for the second time this season.

Ortiz said he probably will play on Tuesday when the Red Sox open a three-game series with Toronto.

Jason Bartlett singled with one out in the third and scored on a pair of errors during a pickoff play. He reached third when Beckett made an errant throw on a pickoff attempt and scored when right fielder J.D. Drew made a bad throw toward the plate after picking up the ball in foul territory.

"I basically lost the game for us," Beckett said. "Throw away, and the home run to Longoria."

Bartlett went 1-for-2 against Beckett, and has five hits in eight at-bats overall against him. He stayed in the game after getting hit in the helmet by a Manny Delcarmen pitch in the eighth and scored on Carl Crawford's RBI double.

Dustin Pedroia singled in the first and Julio Lugo reached on a base hit in the sixth for Boston.

"We didn't ever get anything going offensively," Francona said. "I thought Beckett was tremendous. On most nights, he throws a game like that and we're feeling pretty good about ourselves."

Beckett, who missed his last start with neck stiffness, said he felt fine.

Shields retired 10 in a row before Ramirez walked to start the fifth. Ramirez swiped second for his 35th career stolen base and first since Apr. 10, 2005. Shields worked out of trouble by retiring Kevin Youkilis on a grounder, and striking out Coco Crisp and Jason Varitek.

"I think at times we got impatient. Some of that has to do with the way he's pitching," Francona said. "He was able to command his cutter. He didn't get in any patterns. He threw the ball really well."

Beckett struck out the first five batters he faced. Eric Hinske singled in the second but Beckett struck out Dioner Navarro to end the inning. He added two more strikeouts in the third.


  • Tampa Bay has never swept the Red Sox in a series of more than three games.
  • Rays ace Scott Kazmir (left elbow) is scheduled to make a rehab start Monday for Triple-A Durham. Maddon said Kazmir will probably start next Sunday's game at Boston.
  • Boston 3B Mike Lowell (sprained left thumb) went 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly in his third rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket. He could rejoin the Red Sox on Tuesday.
  • Tampa Bay OF Cliff Floyd (right knee) is taking part in a running program and could DH in a minor league game this week.
  • Youkilis went 0-for-3 against Shields and is hitless in 13 at-bats against the right-hander.
  • Ramirez is 1-for-12 overall against Shields, including 0-for-2 Sunday.
Copyright 2017 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.
James Shields is both electric and victorious with his two-hit, complete-game effort.  (Getty Images)
James Shields is both electric and victorious with his two-hit, complete-game effort. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Longoria
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
Tampa Bay

J. Shields
IP 9.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 7

Related Video

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, LF4000011 .280
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4010001 .324
J.D. Drew, RF3000001 .273
Manny Ramirez, DH2000100 .347
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3000011 .309
Coco Crisp, CF3000021 .314
Jason Varitek, C3000011 .239
Jed Lowrie, 3B3000010 .323
Julio Lugo, SS3010010 .297
SB - Manny Ramirez (1, 2nd base off Shields/Navarro)
Team LOB - 2
Outfield Assists - J.D. Drew 1
E - Josh Beckett (1, Throwing(Bartlett advanced on Becket's throwing error and scored on Dre), J.D. Drew (1, Throwing(Bartlett advanced on Becket's throwing error and scored on Dre)
Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett (L,2-2) 74211131 4.10
Manny Delcarmen 1111020 5.40
HBP - Bartlett (by Manny Delcarmen)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 107-70, Manny Delcarmen 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 4-4
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 26, Manny Delcarmen 4
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B3000131 .214
Carl Crawford, LF4011021 .300
B.J. Upton, CF4000031 .289
Carlos Pena, 1B3010020 .200
Evan Longoria, 3B3111021 .271
Eric Hinske, DH3010001 .294
Dioner Navarro, C3000022 .370
Gabe Gross, RF3000010 .179
Jason Bartlett, SS2210000 .207
2B - Carl Crawford (2, Delcarmen), Carlos Pena (1, Beckett)
HR - Evan Longoria (3, Beckett)
RBI - Carl Crawford (13), Evan Longoria (10)
SB - Eric Hinske (1, 2nd base off Beckett/Varitek), Jason Bartlett (3, 2nd base off Delcarmen/Varitek)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Iwamura-Bartlett-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (W,3-1) 9200170 2.54
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 98-65
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 11-8
Batters Faced - James Shields 29
Game Information
Attendance - 32363
Game Time - 2:25
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Dan Iassogna