|Tampa Bay (65-54) «||1||1||0||7||1||0||0||1||1||12||17||0|
|L.A. Angels (62-58)||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||10||0|
Upton went 4 for 5 with a home run and three RBI, Zobrist and Jose Molina also homered and the Rays battered Weaver for a career-worst nine earned runs in a 12-3 victory Friday.
"Weaver's a good pitcher and he's been pitching really, really well all season long," Shields said. "I know as well as anybody that sometimes you're going to have bad days, and tonight our team did a great job of getting to him early."
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Shields (11-7) allowed three runs, seven hits and no walks in six innings while striking out eight, helping the Rays maintain a one-game lead over Detroit and Baltimore in the AL wild-card race. The Orioles lost to the Tigers after starting the day tied with Tampa Bay.
Shields, the subject of trade rumors before the non-waiver deadline on July 31, is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts since. The 30-year-old right-hander was 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA in a seven-start stretch before the deadline passed.
"The only difference is the numbers," Shields said. "I mean, I've been pitching the same way and I've taken the same approach in every single game. So I don't think it's more relaxing now -- because we're fighting for the wild card and fighting for the AL East, so we have to win every game."
Upton had a different take on Shields' turnaround.
"I know how going through that trade deadline thing is because I've dealt with it the last couple of years," he said. "So I think with that phase of the season being over and him still being here, I'm sure it's taken a little bit of pressure off of him."
Weaver (15-3) had his shortest outing of the season, giving up eight hits and two walks in three-plus innings -- including Zobrist's 14th homer and Upton's 15th. It was the sixth time the three-time All-Star allowed multiple homers in back-to-back starts during his seven-year career. Seattle's Jesus Montero went deep twice against him last Sunday in the Mariners' 4-1 victory.
"There are going to be times when stuff like this happens, but it's obviously not a good time of the year for it to happen," Weaver said. "My fastball command wasn't good. The only thing that was really good was my changeup, but I can't throw that every pitch. It was just one of those weird nights. Everything they were hitting was finding holes and finding gaps, so what are you going to do? Obviously it's disappointing, but you can't dwell on it."
Upton hit a first-pitch homer into the left-field bullpen with one out in the first and Zobrist led off the second with a drive into the elevated seats in right-center, marking the third time this season that Weaver allowed more than one home run in an outing.
Weaver, who came in with a chance to tie Tampa Bay's David Price for the major league lead in wins, faced eight batters and threw 24 pitches in the fourth inning without recording an out.
Sean Rodriguez and Ryan Roberts had RBI singles, Molina followed with a two-run single and Desmond Jennings chased Weaver with an RBI double. Upton greeted LaTroy Hawkins with a two-run single that extended Tampa Bay's lead to 9-1.
"I kind of took it easy in the bullpen before the game, just trying to locate, but my secondary pitches weren't sharp, and I knew that coming in," Weaver said. "When you don't have anything coming off your fastball, it's going to be a long night. I couldn't miss any bats. I tried to battle as much as possible, but it obviously caught up with me there in the fourth."
Molina, who spent seven seasons as a backup catcher with the Angels and was a member of their only World Series championship club in 2002, hit his fourth homer in the eighth against Jason Isringhausen.
The Angels, shut out in each of their previous three games against the Rays, finally ended their string of 34 consecutive scoreless innings against Tampa Bay with Erick Aybar's leadoff homer in the third. Howie Kendrick added a two-run homer in the fourth.
"I didn't even know anything about that streak. We were just trying to put runs on the board," Kendrick said. "They've got a good staff. They've got guys that go out and pound the strike zone and get outs when they need to. They also play in a division where they've got to have great pitching. It seems like every time we face them they come out and throw well against us."
|B.J. Upton goes 4 for 5 with a homer and three RBI to lead the Rays in a rout of the Angels. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Desmond Jennings, LF||6||1||2||1||0||1||3||.252|
|B.J. Upton, CF||5||1||4||3||0||0||1||.250|
|Matt Joyce, RF||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.262|
|Evan Longoria, DH||4||1||1||0||0||3||1||.303|
|a- Sam Fuld, PH-DH-CF||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Ben Zobrist, SS||3||3||2||1||1||0||0||.262|
|Elliot Johnson, SS||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.244|
|Jeff Keppinger, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.320|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.191|
|Sean Rodriguez, 3B||5||1||3||2||0||0||0||.213|
|Ryan Roberts, 2B||4||1||1||1||1||1||2||.240|
|Jose Molina, C||4||2||2||3||1||0||1||.208|
|a-tripled for Longoria in the 9th|
|2B - Desmond Jennings (16, Jer. Weaver), B.J. Upton (20, Takahashi), Sean Rodriguez (13, Takahashi)|
|3B - Sam Fuld (1, Geltz)|
|HR - B.J. Upton (15, Jer. Weaver), Ben Zobrist (14, Jer. Weaver), Jose Molina (5, Isringhausen)|
|SF - Elliot Johnson (2)|
|RBI - Desmond Jennings (35), B.J. Upton 3 (53), Ben Zobrist (46), Elliot Johnson (28), Sean Rodriguez 2 (32), Ryan Roberts (42), Jose Molina 3 (22)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - S. Rodriguez, Badenhop-Roberts-Pena, S. Rodriguez-Roberts-Pena|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|James Shields (W,11-7)||6||7||3||3||0||8||2||4.03|
|WP - James Shields (7)|
|Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 101-68, Burke Badenhop 19-11, Wade Davis 14-9, J.P. Howell 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 6-3, Burke Badenhop 1-1, Wade Davis 2-0|
|Batters Faced - James Shields 24, Burke Badenhop 4, Wade Davis 3, J.P. Howell 3|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Mike Trout, CF-LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.339|
|Torii Hunter, RF||4||0||3||0||0||0||0||.296|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.227|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.277|
|Bobby Wilson, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.230|
|Kendrys Morales, DH||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.279|
|Mark Trumbo, LF-RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.286|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.248|
|a- Vernon Wells, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.221|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||1||1||2||0||0||0||.284|
|Erick Aybar, SS||3||1||2||1||0||0||0||.272|
|Chris Iannetta, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.211|
|a-struck out for Callaspo in the 9th|
|3B - Mike Trout (6, Shields)|
|HR - Howard Kendrick (6, Shields), Erick Aybar (7, Shields)|
|RBI - Howard Kendrick 2 (42), Erick Aybar (34)|
|2-OUT RBI - Howard Kendrick 2 (16)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols, Callaspo-Kendrick-Pujols|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Jered Weaver (L,15-3)||3||8||9||9||2||2||2||2.74|
|WP - Jered Weaver (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 58-37, LaTroy Hawkins 23-18, Hisanori Takahashi 30-17, Jason Isringhausen 14-9, Steven Geltz 26-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 3-4, LaTroy Hawkins 3-1, Hisanori Takahashi 1-3, Jason Isringhausen 1-0, Steven Geltz 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 19, LaTroy Hawkins 8, Hisanori Takahashi 8, Jason Isringhausen 4, Steven Geltz 7|
|Attendance - 37298|
|Game Time - 2:52|
|Temperature - 84|
|Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Al Porter, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Chris Guccione|