Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

James Shields pounded as Tampa Bay Rays fall 8-4 to Baltimore Orioles, lose ground to New York Yankees

BALTIMORE — The Rays offered some perspective Saturday.

From the mound, where James Shields thought his rough outing in the 8-4 loss to the Orioles was more about bad luck than bad pitches.

And from the clubhouse, where they insisted there was no concern, or consternation, about dropping further behind the do-they-ever-lose Yankees.

"It's kind of like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. We're not at the end of the movie yet," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We have not arrived at the last scene. We're still at, 'Who are those guys?' "

Saturday, they were the guys who took a 1-0 lead on John Jaso's leadoff homer, gave it right back, fell further behind and didn't do much against Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie to catch up, at least until it was too late, with Matt Joyce and Brad Hawpe homering with two outs in the ninth.

The Rays dropped to 83-52 and 2½ games — their largest deficit in nearly a month — in the AL East behind the Yankees, who won their season-high eighth straight and 14th in 18 games.

"We don't care about what they're doing," Carlos Peña said. "Obviously we would prefer for them to lose, but we're more concerned about us getting our wins. And it's the truth: We want to win this division, but the only way we're going to do that is if we take care of our business."

That has been their plan from the start, and certainly with 27 games remaining — including seven with the Yankees — it's a distinct possibility.

But just in case, there was some good news on the Plan B front, as the Red Sox lost both games of a doubleheader, giving the Rays a 7½-game margin in the wild-card race (and eight over the White Sox, who did the sweeping). And the Rays head next to Boston to deal.

In his previous start, Shields took a place of honor in Rays history by taking over the franchise lead in victories. Saturday, he made a different kind of news, joining Tanyon Sturtze and Ryan Rupe as the only Rays to allow 30 homers in a season.

Worse, it happened right after Jaso's homer, a strategy that hasn't worked out too well as Jaso also had a leadoff blast in the 12-3 loss at Anaheim.

Shields had bigger issues in the third. He loaded the bases on three singles, citing the "bad luck" of a Ty Wigginton ground ball to third that Evan Longoria couldn't make a routine play on because he was breaking toward the bag.

More misfortune followed as Shields felt he had Luke Scott struck out, but the umpires disagreed, ruling he had checked his swing. The walk forced in a run, then an out later Shields made his biggest mistake, as Matt Wieters laced a two-run double.

"I felt I should have been out of the inning," Shields said.

When he gave up a one-out double in the fifth, he was out of the game, having allowed five runs (with a sixth to come) on eight hits, replaced by Jeremy Hellickson, whose relief debut didn't go well, either.

Shields wasn't happy with the decision, especially after 41/3 innings and 76 pitches, but wasn't as flippant as Matt Garza on Friday.

"I don't know what the reason was," Shields said, "but I'm sure he had a good reason."

Maybe it was just a matter of perspective.

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

James Shields pounded as Tampa Bay Rays fall 8-4 to Baltimore Orioles, lose ground to New York Yankees 09/04/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 5, 2010 12:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  2. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Kevin Cash: 'We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence'

    Blogs

    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to start playing good baseball games whether we match up well against that team or not," Kevin Cash said.
  5. Lightning wing J.T. Brown on why he donated to remove Confederate statue

    Blogs

    Lightning wing J.T. Brown was back in his Minneapolis offseason home over the weekend when he saw on TV the violent protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate statue.

    J.T. Brown decided to get involved, donating $1,500 to assist in removing a Confederate statue in Tampa.