Make us your home page

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 sets two Tampa Bay Rays pitching records

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP James Shields entered Sunday's start saying he felt as good as he had all year long.

That continued to show as Shields won his third straight, a 5-3 decision over the Red Sox in front of a national ESPN audience. In doing so, Shields broke two club records, passing LHP Scott Kazmir with his 56th career victory and his 145th start.

"It means a lot," Shields said. "This organization has given me the opportunity to be able to pitch as long as I have here and hopefully I can get a ton more. My focus right now is to get to the playoffs and win a World Series."

Shields, who retired 12 of the first 14 hitters, said he worked off his fastball early and didn't mix in his curveball until the fourth. Shields (13-11) allowed three runs over 6⅔ innings.

"If you can locate your fastball," Shields said, "everything else falls into place."

RARE FEAT: LF Carl Crawford picked a great time to hit his 100th career home run as his two-run blast in the sixth tied the score and, as Shields said, swung the momentum. The homer moved him past Fred McGriff for third place on the club's all-time list and put him in some elite company. Crawford is now the eighth player since 1900 to reach 100 homers, 100 triples and 400 stolen bases, a list that includes Ty Cobb, Lou Brock, Paul Molitor and Tim Raines.

"You get in elite company like that, it feels real good," said Crawford, whose 15 homers have matched his 2009 output. "You feel real proud about the stuff you've been able to accomplish over the years. It makes you want to see how far you can go with it."

SHOWING RUST: RHP Grant Balfour said he felt fine in his first game appearance for Class A Charlotte on Saturday since recovering from an intercostal strain, but he admitted he didn't pitch well, and he and manager Joe Maddon said he might need more than today's scheduled appearance before being activated.

Maddon said the important thing was Balfour felt good physically, but he said Balfour's command was "terrible" in giving up three runs and three walks in two-thirds of an inning.

"It just felt like I haven't pitched in a month, that's what it's been," Balfour said. "You lose it. It's tough just to flick the switch and just be back to exactly where I was."

Before getting hurt in late July during some horseplay with pitching coach Jim Hickey before a game, Balfour was having a strong season (1-1, 2.08 ERA in 44 appearances).

"There's a lot said for going out there, pitching every two or three days," Balfour said. "You keep everything sharp, and you're locked in. When you don't throw for 2½ weeks, and you start playing catch, you've got to get back into shape again. It's tough."

IN THE SWING: New OF/DH/1B Brad Hawpe said his Saturday appearance at Charlotte went well, and he hit the ball hard without any hits to show for it. He took batting practice with the Rays on Sunday and will play for Charlotte today in Bradenton.

Hawpe said he won't be added to the Rays roster until after Tuesday's game, which means they won't have to take someone off the 25-man roster to make room. In that scenario, he wouldn't be automatically eligible for postseason play but could be added as a replacement for a player on the disabled list. The Rays would have at least one of those spots with LHP J.P. Howell on the DL.

MISCELLANY: Maddon said the first wave of September callups will include 4-5 players, with a third catcher (Dioner Navarro) likely. One intriguing name under consideration is LHP prospect Jake McGee, a former starter who has pitched 12⅔ scoreless relief innings since getting promoted to Triple-A Durham. That includes 20 strikeouts and just one walk.

"I've heard nothing but really good things about him," Maddon said. "I do know that he's got the kind of stuff that he's not just limited to getting left-handed hitters out. He's the kind of guy that can get a good righty out also, which makes him exciting as a left-handed relief pitcher."

Joe Smith can be reached at

James Shields sets two Tampa Bay Rays pitching records 08/29/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 30, 2010 8:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 5


    Team of the Week | Armwood

    Armwood High School defensive end and outside linebacker Fitzroy Gardner during the first half of the Armwood at Jefferson football game in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, September 22, 2017.
  2. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  3. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  5. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.