Shields masterful vs. Marlins: Interleague Roundup
James Shields shook his head in frustration after allowing a walk with two outs in the ninth inning, upset that he might not get to finish a game that he dominated.
Allowed to continue by Manager Joe Maddon, Shields completed his gem with style.
Shields finished off a three-hitter by striking out Gaby Sanchez to set a new career best with 13 strikeouts, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Florida Marlins 4-0 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
"I think I put a little stress on Joe right there by walking that guy, but he let me go out there and I commend him for that," Shields said. "I wanted to finish it real bad."
Shields (5-2) walked just one in his second shutout and third complete game of the season. He didn't allow a baserunner past first base until the ninth inning and had nine strikeouts in the last four innings. The right-hander gave up singles in the second, seventh and eighth innings, along with the ninth-inning walk.
"That was really stretching it there, but he really wasn't tested or pushed in that game," Maddon said. "It was an outstanding effort. He told me during spring training he wanted to finish games. He has worked real hard and he deserved that opportunity today."
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Rays, who haven't been swept by their intrastate rivals since 2007.
Florida's Jay Buente (0-1), called up when ace Josh Johnson was put on the disabled list, lasted three innings and gave up four runs — three earned — in his first career start.
Buente allowed five hits and walked three.
Tampa Bay improved its road record to 15-8, best in baseball.
Shields went past the seventh inning for the ninth time in 10 starts this season. It was the eighth time he went at least seven innings while allowing two runs or less. Both marks are tops in the majors.
"It's easy to watch film and stuff, but until you see it first-hand you really don't know what kind of stuff he has," said Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach. "And he has good stuff."
In his only start against Florida in 2010, Shields matched a career high by allowing 10 runs in only 3 1/3 innings of a 14-9 loss at Tampa Bay.
CLEVELAND — Asdrubal Cabrera went 5-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs as the Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of Cincinnati, which for the moment has lost bragging rights as Ohio's best team.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Edinson Volquez (3-2) for the Indians, who did early damage after winning the series' first two games with late-inning comebacks. Cabrera added a solo homer in the sixth to give Cleveland an 8-4 lead.
Michael Brantley, Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo - the top three hitters in Cleveland's lineup - went a combined 10 for 12 with six runs and nine RBIs.
Carlos Carrasco (3-2) gave up four runs in six-plus innings, handing the Reds their fifth straight loss. The right-hander was lucky that several line drives were hit directly at Cleveland fielders.
BOSTON — Tim Wakefield held Chicago to four hits in 6 2/3 innings, and Adrian Gonzalez had four hits of his own to lead Boston to victory and send Chicago home after its first visit to Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series.
The Red Sox took two out of three from Chicago and have now won eight of their last nine to move one-half game behind the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.
Making his third start of the season, this one because of injuries to John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka, Wakefield (1-1) struck out three and walked none before leaving with two out in the seventh.
James Russell (1-5) was also filling in, because Matt Garza was scratched with right elbow stiffness. He allowed three runs and seven hits in four-plus innings.
PHILADELPHIA — Matt Harrison took a five-hitter into the ninth inning and helped Texas avoid a three-game sweep.
His stat line was hardly dazzling. Harrison (4-4) struck out three, walked three and threw 117 pitches in his longest outing of the season, finishing two outs shy of his first shutout since 2009.
Texas touched Phillies starter Roy Oswalt (3-2) for eight hits and broke through for a run in the sixth inning.
Oswalt lost for the first time (10-1) at Citizens Bank Park. He was 6-0 in eight starts with the Phillies. He struck out three and walked two.
SAN DIEGO — Felix Hernandez tied his career high with 13 strikeouts in eight dominant innings to lead Seattle.
Hernandez (5-4) allowed one run and six hits as the Mariners won their fifth straight and completed a three-game sweep. Seattle held a commanding advantage over San Diego in runs (14-2) and hits (32-14) while striking out 35 Padres batters in the series.
Hernandez, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, kept up the stingy pace. He gave up three singles in the seventh for San Diego's only run, but struck out seven of nine batters during one stretch from the second through the fourth.
The right-hander did not walk a batter as he snapped a two-start skid. Hernandez improved his interleague record to 11-4 with a 2.75 ERA in 20 career starts.
PITTSBURGH — Rick Porcello allowed one hit over eight innings and Detroit snapped a five-game losing streak.
Porcello (4-2) took a no-hitter into the sixth before giving up Ronny Cedeno's leadoff double. He struck out three and walked two in his first start in nearly two weeks.
Jose Valverde worked out of a two-on, none-out jam in the ninth to earn his 11th save in 11 opportunities.
Porcello's previous start was wiped out by rain, but he hardly looked rusty. He kept the surging Pirates off balance all afternoon and even added a single during a rare plate appearance.
NEW YORK — Derek Jeter tied the score with a two-run single that sparked an eight-run rally in the seventh inning as the Yankees pummelled the Mets in the finale of their weekend Subway Series.
In a slump for most of the season, Jeter hit a two-run, bases-loaded single off Mike Pelfrey (3-4) that made it three-all - just the second time since Aug. 11 that Jeter tied the score or put the Yankees ahead from the seventh inning on.
Jeter, who had been 3-for-24 this year with runners in scoring position and less than two outs, grounded a pitch up the middle in the seventh. The two hits raised his average to .268 and left him 25 hits shy of 3,000.
Luis Ayala (1-0) got four outs to win in relief of Ivan Nova, Ayala's first major league victory since April 7, 2009, for Minnesota against Seattle.
CHICAGO — Alexei Ramirez homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and the suddenly surging Chicago White Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 on Sunday.
Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, then added an RBI double in the third, a run-scoring single in the fourth and another RBI double in the eighth for the White Sox, who have won 11 of 15. By taking two of three games against the Dodgers over the weekend, Chicago is now 5-0-1 in its last six series.
White Sox starter Edwin Jackson (4-5) improved to 2-2 with a 2.84 earned-run average at home this season. Jackson went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking two and striking out seven.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Torii Hunter ended a home run drought of 28 games with a go-ahead shot off Derek Lowe, rookie Tyler Chatwood pitched seven strong innings and Los Angeles beat Atlanta in the rubber game of their interleague series.
Chatwood (3-2) allowed a run and five hits, struck out six and walked two. It was the third time in the right-hander's last four starts that he allowed only one run, including a pair of no-decisions at Angel Stadium against the Indians and White Sox. Last Tuesday, Chatwood lasted only 2 1/3 innings in a 14-0 loss at Oakland after giving up seven runs, five earned.
Scott Downs pitched a perfect eighth and Jordan Walden got three outs for his eighth save in 11 chances.
Lowe (3-4) threw 108 pitches over six innings, allowing three runs, five hits and a season-high five walks while striking out five. It was the fifth time this season that the 37-year-old right-hander made 100 or more pitches without reaching the seventh.
MILWAUKEE — Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple off Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez and scored on a throwing error, lifting Milwaukee to victory and a three-game sweep.
Jimenez (0-4) threw the seventh complete game of his career and allowed only two hits, but struggled to find the strike zone with four walks and a hit batter.
He also received little support from the rest of the Rockies' sputtering offence.
Randy Wolf (4-4) pitched around trouble for seven innings and struggled at times with his command, but got key double plays in the fourth and fifth innings before settling down.
PHOENIX — Juan Miranda homered, Daniel Hudson had an RBI single to go with eight strong innings on the mound and Arizona beat Minnesota to complete a three-game sweep.
The Diamondbacks won their sixth straight, their longest run in three seasons, and eighth in nine games to climb to .500 (23-23) for the first time since April 20.
Miranda, 9-for-18 on the homestand with five RBIs, left in the eighth inning after being hit in the right wrist by a pitch.
Hudson (5-5) allowed two runs, including Delmon Young's first homer of the season, and eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks to improve to 5-1 in his last six starts. Alex Burnett (0-3) took the loss.
BALTIMORE — Vladimir Guerrero's two-run homer in the seventh inning spoiled Jordan Zimmermann's stellar outing and lifted Baltimore to victory.
Through the first six innings, Zimmermann (2-5) was nearly perfect, allowing just two baserunners on a walk and a double in the second inning. He had retired 13 straight.
Nick Markakis singled to start the seventh and Guerrero sent an 0-2 curveball into the left-field stands for his fifth home run of the year and a 2-1 Orioles lead.
Guerrero's home run was just the third Zimmermann has allowed in 54 1/3 innings this season.
KANSAS CITY — Colby Rasmus drew a bases-loaded walk — his fifth free pass of the day — that forced in the go-ahead run in the 10th, and the St. Louis Cardinals walked 13 times in a wacky 9-8 victory Sunday over the Kansas City Royals.
Every walk Rasmus drew was off a different pitcher. The Cardinals had 12 hits, a hit batter and reached on an error in the four hour, nine minute game.
Yadier Molina had a double, two singles and a two-run triple as the Cardinals took the always-lively interleague series between state rivals two games to one.
Each team used seven pitchers. Royals manager Ned Yost and catcher Matt Treanor were both ejected.
SAN FRANCISCO — Emmanuel Burriss singled home the winning run in the 11th inning and San Francisco completed a three-game sweep of cross-bay rival Oakland.
Burriss's line drive off reliever Brian Fuentes (1-6) scored speedy Darren Ford from second. Ford just beat right fielder Ryan Sweeney's throw to the plate, sending the Giants running out of the dugout to celebrate their fifth straight victory and seventh walk-off win this season.
Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz hit a tying, two-run homer in the eighth off Grant Balfour over the right-field wall and just short of splashing in McCovey Cove. The rally spoiled another stellar outing by A's starter Gio Gonzalez and sent Oakland tumbling to its fifth straight loss and ninth overall at AT&T Park.
Sergio Romo (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.