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Minnesota at Tampa Bay

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Minnesota (5-10)000000001153
Tampa Bay (8-7) «00000310x480

Shields, Upton put Rays over Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- James Shields was impressive, again.

Shields carried a three-hitter into the ninth inning, B.J. Upton had a key two-run single and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Saturday night.

"He just had really good control of the game, and it looked typical of what James has done last year turning into this year," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Shields (3-0) allowed one run and five hits over eight-plus innings while winning his third consecutive start after getting a no-decision on opening day against the New York Yankees.

"A tough night at the plate, but guys like that do that to you," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We were facing a very, very good pitcher out there, Mr. Shields. He was really, really good. He's a gamer. He dominated us."

Upton's two-out hit off Carl Pavano (1-2) gave the Rays a 3-0 lead in the sixth. Another run scored on the play when center fielder Denard Span was charged with a throwing error attempting to cut down Matt Joyce at third.

"That was the deciding factor," Pavano said. "I left a pitch up and he jammed shot it into center field."

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Pavano gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. Josh Willingham singled in the ninth to tie Kirby Puckett's team record, set in 1994, of starting a season with a 15-game hitting streak.

Tampa Bay has won its last nine home games -- dating to July 21 -- when Shields was the starting pitcher. Shields is 7-0 over the stretch.

Shields was pulled in the ninth after allowing Willingham's hit and a double by Justin Morneau. Ryan Doumit had a sacrifice fly off Fernando Rodney, who picked up his fifth save.

"Eight strong, I felt I did my job," Shields said.

Aided by two errors and a hit batter, Tampa Bay took a 4-0 lead in the seventh on Evan Longoria's grounder. Longoria has seven RBIs over the past three games.

The Twins were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position against Shields. The right-hander threw 29 pitches during the sixth, but got out of a bases-loaded jam when Doumit lined out to third for the final out of the inning.

"I was just missing, but we ended up getting out of it and I think it was a big inning in the game," Shields said. "We came back in all fired up."

Pavano induced a double-play grounder from Upton with runners on first and third in the fourth, ending the threat. One inning later, Joe Mauer, playing first base, made a diving catch on Desmond Jennings'one-out squeeze bunt and doubled Jose Molina off third.

"I thought it was a good pitcher's duel, going back and forth," Pavano said. "Overall, we were in it until the end. We had opportunities, but Rodney came in and closed the door."

Mauer had two hits in four at-bats, and is 33 for 74 overall at Tropicana Field.

Notes

  • Morneau finished 1 for 3 with a walk after not playing Friday night because of a sore right foot. "Still got a little soreness in his foot, but he ready's to get back out there," Gardenhire said. Morneau fouled a ball off the foot Thursday.
  • Twins LHP Francisco Liriano (0-2) will go against RHP Jeff Niemann (0-2) in the series finale on Sunday. "If he has his fastball command, look out," Maddon said of Liriano.
 
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 allows one run and five hits in eight-plus innings to defeat the Twins and earn his third consecutive win.  (Getty Images)
James Shields allows one run and five hits in eight-plus innings to defeat the Twins and earn his third consecutive win. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Shields
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
Minnesota

J. Mauer
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF4010010 .328
Jamey Carroll, SS4000011 .228
Joe Mauer, 1B4020000 .316
Josh Willingham, LF2110110 .339
Justin Morneau, DH3010101 .271
Ryan Doumit, C3001005 .209
Danny Valencia, 3B4000022 .235
Clete Thomas, RF4000031 .176
Alexi Casilla, 2B3000010 .244
Totals3115129  
Batting
2B - Justin Morneau (3, Shields)
SF - Ryan Doumit (1)
RBI - Ryan Doumit (6)
SB - Joe Mauer (2, 2nd base off Shields/Molina)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Valencia-Casilla-Mauer, Mauer-Valencia, Casilla-Carroll-Mauer
E - Jamey Carroll (1, Missed catch of throw), Denard Span (1, Throwing), Danny Valencia (2, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carl Pavano (L,1-2) 6732270 4.73
Alex Burnett 0.1110000 0.00
Brian Duensing 1000000 2.57
Jeff Gray 0.2000200 2.57
IBB - Joyce by Carl Pavano
HBP - Molina (by Carl Pavano), Pena (by Alex Burnett)
WP - Jeff Gray (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Carl Pavano 110-70, Alex Burnett 17-9, Brian Duensing 12-7, Jeff Gray 24-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carl Pavano 5-4, Alex Burnett 3-0, Brian Duensing 1-1, Jeff Gray 1-1
Batters Faced - Carl Pavano 26, Alex Burnett 5, Brian Duensing 2, Jeff Gray 4
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, LF5110013 .258
Ben Zobrist, 2B4000020 .200
Carlos Pena, 1B2110110 .315
Evan Longoria, 3B4111011 .321
Luke Scott, DH4010011 .275
Matt Joyce, RF3110110 .308
B.J. Upton, CF3022101 .333
Jose Molina, C2010101 .226
Sean Rodriguez, SS3000002 .205
Totals3048347  
Batting
2B - Luke Scott (4, Pavano), Jose Molina (3, Pavano)
SH - Sean Rodriguez (3)
RBI - Evan Longoria (14), B.J. Upton 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton 2 (2)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
PB - Jose Molina (1)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
James Shields (W,3-0) 8511270 2.76
Fernando Rodney (S,5) 1000020 1.42
HBP - Willingham (by James Shields)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 119-75, Fernando Rodney 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 7-10
Batters Faced - James Shields 32, Fernando Rodney 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31774
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Mike Winters