Baltimore at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: J. Shields (12-8) L: B. Burres (7-9)
HR: BAL - None   TB - J. Bartlett (1)

First-place Rays sweep O's, finish August 21-7 for franchise record wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays completed their best month in franchise history in the team's most memorable season by far.

James Shields yielded one run over seven innings and Jason Bartlett hit his first homer in more than a year to help the AL East-leading Rays complete a three-game sweep with a 10-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Tampa Bay went 21-7 in August, setting a team record for wins in a month. The Rays, who will have their first winning season and possibly a playoff trip this year, are a club-best 33 games over .500 at 84-51.

"This series was really good to go into September," Shields said. "Our hitters are really on right now and our pitchers are pitching as good as ever. We're really putting it together right now."

Shields (12-8) gave up six hits to match his career high for wins set last season. He has won seven of his last nine starts at home.

Bartlett had four hits and drove in two runs, including a solo shot during a two-run seventh that made it 10-1. It was his first homer since Aug. 27, 2007.

Tampa Bay, which has the majors' best home mark at 52-19, lead second-place Boston by five games after the Red Sox lost 4-2 to the Chicago White Sox.

"We can't take anything for granted because the moment we do that everything blows up," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I think if you take care of the seconds, the minutes and hours will take care of themselves."

The Rays had 34 runs, 40 hits and walked 25 times in the series. They were also hit by six pitches and twice drew four walks in a row.

Baltimore manager Dave Trembley and pitching coach Rick Kranitz will meet with the Orioles pitching staff before Monday's game at Boston.

"In an understatement, not very pretty," Trembley said. "Not real pleased, you've got to sit there and watch 180 pitches everyday. I'd rather have the fastball thrown over the plate and have people hit it instead of giving runs away like that. It will be addressed."

Luke Scott had a two-run double during a three-run eighth for the Orioles (63-73), who have lost 10 of 12 to drop a season-worst 10 games under .500.

"We got flat-out beat," Baltimore first baseman Kevin Millar said.

Willy Aybar put the Rays ahead 2-0 on a two-out, two-run double off Brian Burres (7-9) in the first. Tampa Bay went up 3-0 on a second-inning RBI double by Shawn Riggans.

Ben Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly and Bartlett had a run-scoring single as Tampa Bay took a 5-0 lead in the third.

Burres gave up seven runs and nine hits in five-plus innings. The Orioles have lost the last 10 times in which the left-hander has pitched against the Rays, including four starts. Baltimore also fell to 3-19 on Sundays this season.

The Rays extended their lead to 8-1 in the sixth thanks to the wildness of reliever Alberto Castillo, who hit two batters in a row and then walked the next two before being pulled. B.J. Upton was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded before consecutive walks to Carlos Pena and Rocco Baldelli.

Upton, hit on the ankle, was replaced defensively in the seventh. Upton said the ankle is fine and will play when Tampa Bay opens a three-game series Tuesday with the New York Yankees.

Upton picked up his 40th stolen base of the season when he swiped second in the fifth. He joins Carl Crawford -- who has done it five times -- as the only Tampa Bay players to have 40 steals in a season.


  • Bartlett was hit by a pitch in the eighth. Maddon said he thought the pitch by reliever was intentional.
  • The Rays are 11-3 against Baltimore this season.
  • Tampa Bay C Dioner Navarro (hamstrings) was out of the lineup for the fourth time in the last five games. Maddon said Navarro, who started Saturday, was "a little bit sore."
  • Baltimore plans to recall LHP Garrett Olson from Triple-A Norfolk to start Monday's game.
  • Rays closer Troy Percival (knee) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.
  • Orioles OF Adam Jones (foot) is set to return from the disabled list and play on Monday.
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.
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Willy Aybar and Jason Bartlett jump for joy as the Rays close the month 33 games over .500.  (AP)
Willy Aybar and Jason Bartlett jump for joy as the Rays close the month 33 games over .500. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Shields
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 2
K 1
Tampa Bay

J. Bartlett
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 1

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February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Baltimore Orioles (2:25)
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5120002 .299
Jay Payton, CF5000013 .255
Nick Markakis, RF2010100 .308
   a- Luis Montanez, PH-RF1100000 .340
Aubrey Huff, 3B3020001 .311
   b- Alex Cintron, PH-3B0100100 .271
Kevin Millar, 1B3101101 .241
Luke Scott, LF4012004 .270
Oscar Salazar, DH3011011 .250
Guillermo Quiroz, C3000101 .186
Juan Castro, SS4000011 .186
a-grounded out for Markakis in the 8th
b-walked for Huff in the 8th
2B - Nick Markakis (42, Shields), Aubrey Huff (43, Shields), Luke Scott (25, Hammel)
SF - Oscar Salazar (1)
RBI - Kevin Millar (69), Luke Scott 2 (57), Oscar Salazar (5)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Jay Payton 2
DP - Castro-B. Roberts-Millar
E - Kevin Millar (6, Misplayed grounder)
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Burres (L,7-9) 5977440 6.08
Randor Bierd 0.2000010 3.64
Alberto Castillo0011200 3.10
Jamie Walker 1.1221011 5.82
Jim Johnson 1100110 2.23
IBB - Aybar by Brian Burres
HBP - Iwamura (by Alberto Castillo), Upton (by Alberto Castillo), Bartlett (by Jim Johnson)
WP - Randor Bierd (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Burres 104-54, Randor Bierd 7-5, Alberto Castillo 17-5, Jamie Walker 18-13, Jim Johnson 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Burres 3-5, Randor Bierd 1-0, Jamie Walker 2-2, Jim Johnson 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Burres 25, Randor Bierd 2, Alberto Castillo 4, Jamie Walker 7, Jim Johnson 6
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4100010 .280
B.J. Upton, CF1101200 .271
    Gabe Gross, RF1000011 .237
Carlos Pena, 1B3111212 .246
Rocco Baldelli, DH3231100 .351
   a- Eric Hinske, PH-DH1000011 .252
Willy Aybar, 3B4012105 .250
Ben Zobrist, LF-CF3011101 .225
Jason Bartlett, SS4342000 .278
Shawn Riggans, C5221005 .227
Justin Ruggiano, RF-LF4000033 .196
a-struck out for Baldelli in the 8th
2B - Rocco Baldelli 2 (4, Burres, Burres), Shawn Riggans 2 (6, Burres, Walker)
HR - Jason Bartlett (1, Walker)
SF - Ben Zobrist (1)
RBI - B.J. Upton (63), Carlos Pena (84), Rocco Baldelli (7), Willy Aybar 2 (23), Ben Zobrist (18), Jason Bartlett 2 (25), Shawn Riggans (23)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton (25), Carlos Pena (22), Rocco Baldelli (4), Willy Aybar 2 (9), Jason Bartlett (16)
SB - B.J. Upton (40, 2nd base off Burres/Quiroz)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Aybar-Iwamura-Pena, Aybar-Pena
E - Willy Aybar 2 (5, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (W,12-8) 7611210 3.66
Trever Miller 0.1021100 4.76
Jason Hammel 1.2110120 4.06
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 101-66, Trever Miller 12-5, Jason Hammel 35-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 13-6, Trever Miller 1-1, Jason Hammel 2-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 28, Trever Miller 3, Jason Hammel 7
Game Information
Attendance - 32379
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Mark Wegner