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)


Rays' Shields named AL player of the week after beating Blue Jays, Red Sox

James Shields is AL player of the week after posting a 1.13 ERA in beating two division rivals, the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

Associated Press

James Shields is AL player of the week after posting a 1.13 ERA in beating two division rivals, the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

James Shields picked up a pair of wins for his efforts against the Blue Jays and Red Sox, and Monday he got something to go with them: the American League player of the week award.

"It's exciting to get that kind of honor, exciting for the organization as well as myself," Shields said before the Rays left Monday night for Baltimore, where they open a nine-game trip tonight. "We are having a lot of fun right now, and we will look to keep it going."

Shields was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in the two starts, holding Toronto to two runs over seven innings April 22 then delivering a two-hit, complete-game shutout Sunday against Boston.

He was chosen by MLB officials over former Rays prospect Josh Hamilton, who hit .429 with 10 RBIs for Texas in the week ending Sunday, as well as Texas' Michael Young (.462, five extra-base hits), Detroit's Magglio Ordonez (.400, three homers, 10 RBIs), Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (2-0, 2.08 ERA) and Cleveland's Cliff Lee (1-0, 0.00).

Shields will receive a Swiss Tourneau watch for the award.

Kaz, Reyes SHARP: LHP Scott Kazmir worked into the sixth inning for Triple-A Durham on Monday, allowing three hits (including a solo home run) and a walk, in what is scheduled to be his final rehab start. Kazmir threw 81 pitches, four under the planned limit, and left after walking the leadoff man in the sixth on four pitches.

Kazmir, completing his recovery from a left elbow strain suffered Feb. 26, is expected to join the Rays in Baltimore today and, assuming all is well, start preparing for his first start of the season, most likely Sunday in Boston, where he will be limited to about 100 pitches.

RHP Al Reyes made an impressive second one-inning rehab appearance for Class A Vero, striking out the three batters he faced. Reyes, who had been out since April 16 with a shoulder impingement, is expected to rejoin the Rays on Thursday, assuming they are satisfied with his velocity. He topped out at about 85 mph in a rehab outing Saturday.

INF Ben Zobrist will need to have the pins stay in his fractured left thumb for another couple of weeks, but he will be allowed to DH left-handed in extended spring games starting today, which should reduce the time he needs once he is cleared.

View from the top: The sweep of Boston made for a busy couple of days for principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who lives in New York.

"When we beat the Yankees all of the people I know who like the Red Sox tell me how happy I have made them," he wrote in an e-mail Monday. "The last two days it has been the Yankees fans turn. And there have been plenty of them."

Sternberg, naturally, was thrilled with the weekend performance.

"The place in the standings doesn't excite me at all right now, the play on the field does," he wrote. "It is so gratifying to watch this come together and have real hope and expectation for what is yet to come."

Pitching in: The back-to-back sweeps of Toronto and Boston added up to more than just six straight wins as the Rays faced some of the league's most impressive pitchers, including starters Roy Halladay, Tim Wakefield, rookie Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett.

"That was a pretty good week of pitching that we just had to meander through," manager Joe Maddon said. "Those are all really high-end pitchers, those are above .500 pitchers, those are all championship-caliber pitchers. So you're not going to just beat them up, so you have to pitch and you have to play defense to beat those guys."

Miscellany: With Jorge Posada on the DL, the Yankees could have interest in C Mike DiFelice, who has rejoined Durham. … Even after drawing 98,701 for the three weekend games, the Rays' average attendance of 18,867 is still last in the AL and 28th in the majors. … ESPN's Buster Olney raised the question of the Rangers, under new president Nolan Ryan, having interest in hiring Rays senior VP Gerry Hunsicker.

Rays' Shields named AL player of the week after beating Blue Jays, Red Sox 04/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.