Tampa Bay Rays starter James Shields upset with subpar performance

OAKLAND, Calif. — Anything short of perfect, RHP James Shields wasn't going to measure up anyway.

But allowing a season-high 11 hits, and four runs (two earned) over six innings, really made for a bad day, snapping his four-start winning streak and saddling the Rays with back-to-back losses for just the third time this season.

"They didn't really hit the ball hard, but they got the hits they needed to get; they got hits when it counted with runners in scoring position," Shields said. "I didn't pitch well today."

Manager Joe Maddon was less harsh, saying Shields didn't do as bad of a job as the numbers indicated.

"If you retrace the base hits, a lot were ground ball hits that either you're standing there or you're not," he said. "They didn't really drive the ball on him. They had a lot of well-placed hits."

HEADING SOUTH: Maddon coached for the Angels for years and still lives in Southern California, but going to Anaheim hasn't been much fun as the Rays are 1-13 in his tenure.

"I stink there," Maddon said. "I do. I'm horrible. They've beaten us badly there for several years, and I have to get my stuff together."

Maddon joked that maybe his old Angels mates were up to something. "I don't know, they might have some form of covert operation going on, whether it's a sound system or possibly photography or cameras hidden," he said. "We're going to have to sweep the place first. …

"I've been bad there. The team's been great; I've been bad. It's just one of those things, and I have to get better."

But seriously, Maddon said the Angels simply have been the better team: "They've just outplayed us in that ballpark." During the same span, the Rays are 11-7 vs. the Angels at the Trop.

HEADING SOUTH, II: For INF Sean Rodriguez, the trip to Anaheim is a chance to face the team that traded him away, in the August deal for Scott Kazmir.

"It's definitely going to be a little weird," he said.

Rodriguez said the deal has worked out well for him; he's in the big leagues (which may not have happened if he were still with the Angels) and he's on what he considers a better team.

"It's been very beneficial," he said. "The opportunity is obviously better over here."

MINOR MATTERS: Cuban OF/1B Leslie Anderson is set to make his U.S. debut tonight for Class A Charlotte, which opens a four-game series in Lakeland. Anderson, who had a .320 career average over nine seasons in Cuba, could be a September callup for the Rays depending on his progress. … Triple-A Durham RHP Jeremy Hellickson dropped to 5-1, allowing five runs in five-plus innings.

MISCELLANY: RHP Matt Garza rejoined the Rays on Sunday after attending a family function Saturday and will start tonight. … LF Carl Crawford is in an 0-for-12 skid. … 1B Carlos Peña's average is down to .183, and Maddon is considering giving him a day off during the Angels series.

Tampa Bay Rays starter James Shields upset with subpar performance 05/09/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2010 8:48am]

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