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Tampa Bay at Cleveland

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Tampa Bay (22-15) «0400010027110
Cleveland (23-13)0000020114100

Rays ruin Masterson's mark as Shields solves Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- As Tampa Bay's regulars wolfed down postgame meals while peaking at an NL afternoon game on the clubhouse TVs, their travel bags were packed and stacked on a cart outside in the hallway, ready for delivery to the airport.

It was time to go home.

The Rays have finished their road work.

James Shields pitched seven strong innings to finally beat Cleveland, and the Rays improved baseball's best road record with a 7-4 win on Thursday over Justin Masterson and the Indians, who lost for just the second time in 16 home games.

With 10 wins in their last 11 on the road, the Rays are 13-5 outside Florida's borders. And, after a dreadful 1-8 start, they've gone 21-7.

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"By now it's been forgotten," Shields said of the club's horrendous April opening. "We're playing on all cylinders right now."

Shields (4-1) gave up two runs and scattered seven hits, piggybacking off David Price's dominant performance on Wednesday night when Tampa Bay's ace stopped Cleveland's home winning streak at 14. The right-hander came in 0-4 in six career starts against Cleveland, the only AL team he had never beaten.

"I beat Cleveland, at Cleveland," he said, smiling. "I got one more on my bucket list."

Shields improved to 4-0 with 1.12 ERA in his last five starts overall.

Reid Brignac, Sam Fuld and Evan Longoria had two RBI apiece as the Rays handed Masterson (5-1) his first loss.

By winning two of three, the Rays cooled down the Indians and had some success in a ballpark that has haunted them in recent years. Tampa Bay is just 4-19 in Cleveland since 2005.

"If you're looking for a little bit of a litmus test, there it was," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "What can I ever complain about? Win or lose the effort is there every day. I just have to sit there and make the right decisions. Our guys came ready to play."

The Indians, on the other hand, are facing their first turbulence this season.

Asdrubal Cabrera homered for Cleveland, but the Indians couldn't string any hits together until it was too late and had two runners picked off by Shields, who caught Michael Brantley at first in the third and Cabrera off second in the sixth.

"We didn't play very well," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Masterson was behind in the count and struggled with his command. We didn't do enough offensively and we gave away a couple of outs on the bases."

Shields picked up right where Price left off. He took a shutout into the sixth and made big pitches whenever trouble brewed. He walked one and struck out seven.

Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore missed his second straight game with a bruised right knee. An MRI exam showed no structural damage, a huge relief to the Indians and Sizemore, who sat out most of 2010 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his other knee.

The Rays didn't have outfielder B.J. Upton. He served the first game of a two-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball following a tirade after he was ejected on May 4. Upton will also sit out Friday's series opener at home against Baltimore.

For the second straight day, Tampa Bay jumped to an early lead on the Indians, who made a habit of scoring quick runs while winning a club-record 18 games in April and building a surprising lead in the AL Central.

The Rays scored four in the second off Masterson, who was having trouble locating his fastball during a scoreless first inning.

After the Rays loaded the bases on a walk and two singles, Brignac gave them a 2-0 lead with a two-run double, his first extra-base hit in 105 at-bats -- a club record. Brignac had hit nothing but singles since Sept. 22, but slapped a double into the left-field corner.

"He kept his head down so well, he didn't know where the ball was," Maddon said. "Somebody yelled, 'Run, Forrest, run!' and he finally took off."

Brignac could finally joke about his lack of pop.

"It felt so good I didn't even know where the ball was," said Brignac, unaware how long it had been since his last extra-base knock. "When I'm going good I don't want to know my stats, and when I'm going bad I don't want to know them.

"I just know they weren't good."

Cabrera led off the sixth with his sixth homer, a towering shot to right-center. Shin-Soo Choo singled and Orlando Cabrera's two-out RBI double pulled the Indians within 5-2. But with the Rays shifting three infielders to the left side with pull-hitting Shelley Duncan up, second baseman Johnson sneaked behind Cabrera and Shields picked him off.

"I don't know if I got him on that or not," Shields said. "The umpire called him out and that stopped the damage right there."

Notes

  • Rays OF Johnny Damon had two hits, moving him into a tie for 73rd place on the career list with 2,605. Next up for him are No. 72 Jimmie Foxx (2,646) and No. 71 Ted Williams (2,654).
  • Young guns: With an average age of 26.3, Cleveland's pitching staff is the majors' youngest.
  • Joyce leads the AL with a .358 average. Joyce, Fuld and Jason Bartlett (2009) are the only Tampa players to top the league batting race later than the first week of the season. Fuld was at .366 on April 22.
 
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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'I beat Cleveland, at Cleveland,' says James Shields, who enters 0-4 in six career starts against the Indians. (AP)
'I beat Cleveland, at Cleveland,' says James Shields, who enters 0-4 in six career starts against the Indians. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

R. Brignac
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Cleveland

A. Cabrera
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Sam Fuld, CF5012014 .252
Ben Zobrist, RF4120100 .292
Johnny Damon, DH5120011 .254
Evan Longoria, 3B3012101 .270
Matt Joyce, LF3210203 .358
Casey Kotchman, 1B4120122 .360
Elliot Johnson, 2B4111114 .238
Reid Brignac, SS4112013 .186
Kelly Shoppach, C3000133 .161
Totals35711779  
Batting
2B - Evan Longoria (5, Smith), Reid Brignac (1, Masterson)
RBI - Sam Fuld 2 (13), Evan Longoria 2 (8), Elliot Johnson (2), Reid Brignac 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Sam Fuld 2 (6)
SB - Evan Longoria (1, 2nd base off Durbin/Santana)
CS - Sam Fuld (4, 2nd base by Masterson/Santana), Casey Kotchman (2, 2nd base by Smith/Santana)
Team LOB - 9
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
James Shields (W,4-1) 7722171 2.08
Joel Peralta (H,5) 1111010 3.32
Kyle Farnsworth 1211010 1.35
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 104-64, Joel Peralta 11-8, Kyle Farnsworth 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 7-5, Joel Peralta 1-1, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 27, Joel Peralta 4, Kyle Farnsworth 5
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Brantley, CF4010011 .291
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS3221100 .289
Shin-Soo Choo, RF4111021 .221
Carlos Santana, C4010011 .225
Travis Hafner, DH4010012 .333
Orlando Cabrera, 2B4121013 .279
Shelley Duncan, LF4011021 .244
Matt LaPorta, 1B4000011 .255
Jack Hannahan, 3B4010001 .252
Totals35410419  
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera 2 (6, Shields, Farnsworth)
3B - Asdrubal Cabrera (2, Peralta)
HR - Asdrubal Cabrera (6, Shields)
RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera (24), Shin-Soo Choo (18), Orlando Cabrera (21), Shelley Duncan (8)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera (6)
PK - Michael Brantley (1, Shields), Orlando Cabrera (1, Shields)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-LaPorta
PB - Carlos Santana (2)
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Masterson (L,5-1) 5.2855460 2.73
Chad Durbin 1.1000110 6.14
Rafael Perez 1222110 1.88
Joe Smith 1100110 3.00
HBP - Longoria (by Chad Durbin)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Masterson 107-62, Chad Durbin 27-12, Rafael Perez 18-12, Joe Smith 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Masterson 6-3, Chad Durbin 1-2, Rafael Perez 2-0, Joe Smith 1-0
Batters Faced - Justin Masterson 27, Chad Durbin 6, Rafael Perez 6, Joe Smith 4
Game Information
Attendance - 18107
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - John Tumpane, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Dan Iassogna