Game 109: James Shields Dominates in Longoria’s Return

By David Hill

James Shields and Fernando Rodney combined on a three hitter in Evan Longoria‘s first game back from the disabled list, leading the Rays to a 4-1 victory over the Blue Jays.

The Rays jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after three innings. With two outs in the second, Ryan Roberts doubled, and scored on Sean Rodriguez‘ base hit. Jose Lobaton followed with a double, but Toronto starter J.A. Happ was able to strike out Elliot Johnson to end the threat. In the third, the Rays loaded the bases with no outs. Longoria made his presence felt, hitting a sacrifice fly to score Desmond Jennings, as B.J. Upton moved from second to third. Upton scored on another sacrifice fly.

The Blue Jays got to Shields in the top of the fourth, as Colby Rasmus led off the inning with a solo home run, cutting the lead to 3-1. However, the Rays scored again in the bottom of the fifth, as Ben Zobrist doubled with one out to score Jennings. That was all for Happ, as he gave up four earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 4.1 innings.

Shields, meanwhile, cruised through the Toronto lineup, allowing only two baserunners after Rasmus’ home run. Overall, Shields allowed the one run on two hits, one walk, and a hit batter while striking out six over eight solid innings. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 33rd save of the year.

In his return, Longoria finished 1-3 with an RBI and a walk. Jennings was 2-3 with a double and two runs scored.

Game Notes: Before their run in the second inning, the Rays had gone 22 innings since scoring their last run on Friday. Rodney now holds the team record for scoreless innings for relievers with 22, breaking the record held by Joe Borowski.