Shields shuts down Jays in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — James Shields threw eight strong innings, Evan Longoria drove in a run in his return from an injury, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Tuesday night. Shields (10-7) allowed one run and two hits. The right-hander was coming off a three-hit shutout last Tuesday at Oakland.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — James Shields threw eight strong innings, Evan Longoria drove in a run in his return from an injury, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Shields (10-7) allowed one run and two hits. The right-hander was coming off a three-hit shutout last Tuesday at Oakland.

Longoria rejoined the Rays after missing 85 games because of a partially torn left hamstring. He went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly as the designated hitter.

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 33rd save and completed the three-hitter. The closer set a team record for relievers — breaking the mark set by Joe Borowski (21) in 2005 — by extending his shutout streak to 22 consecutive innings.

Longoria got a standing ovation before his first at-bat in the second, when left-hander J.A. Happ (0-1) reached behind his legs to glove a grounder and then threw out the three-time All-Star.

Longoria made it 2-0 on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the third, an opposite-field drive caught at the wall by right fielder Moises Sierra. Jeff Keppinger extended the lead to 3-0 on another sacrifice fly later in the inning.

After striking out in the fifth, Longoria ended his night with a line-drive single to centre in the eighth.

The Rays stopped a 22-inning scoreless stretch and took a 1-0 lead in the second as Ryan Roberts — mired in a 3-for-32 slide — hit a two-out pop fly double down the right-field line and scored on Sean Rodriguez’s single.

Colby Rasmus hit his 20th homer, a solo shot in the fourth, that got Toronto within 3-1. Rasmus, who had missed the previous two games because of tightness in his right groin, singled in the ninth.

Tampa Bay went ahead 4-1 in the fifth on Ben Zobrist’s RBI double. Zobrist had left Sunday’s game with upper back spasms.

Happ, making his first start with the Blue Jays, gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings. He had made four relief appearances since being acquired from Houston on July 20.

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