June 14, 2011
V: Boston Red Sox
|Red Sox (39-27)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
W: James Shields (6-4) 2.60 ERA
L: Tim Wakefield (3-2) 4.39 ERA
If you hadn’t heard, the Red Sox are in town for three games at the Trop for this first time this year and that means the much anticipated return of Carl Crawford. After his at bat in the first in which he heard some cheers, the story of the game turned to James Shields. Could he hold down the red hot Red Sox bats? In the last two games in Toronto, Boston scored 30 runs and had won nine in a row. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the first, but Crawford grounded out to end the threat (Crawford was 0-3 with a strikeout). From there on out, Shields was on cruise control.
Tim Wakefield matched Shields pitch for pitch until the fifth when Justin Ruggiano homered to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. After Ruggiano’s blast, Shields really put the game away. He only allowed one more hit the rest of the contest. They extended the lead to 2-0 in the sixth when Evan Longoria scored on a passed ball. The Rays added two more in the eighth off the Red Sox’s bullpen.
I think the 4-0 lead led Maddon to choose to leave Shields out there for the ninth. Shields finished the five hit shutout thanks to a great play by Longoria.
Undoubtedly, this was a huge win to start the series. Ben Ice noted in spring training that the Rays would have a little added intensity against Boston. The Rays played a flawless game and hopefully they’ll continue that trend tomorrow and Thursday night.
Player of the Game: Juego G