Rays Notes: Thoughts on James Shields’ 2-Hit Shutout and B.J. Upton’s 3 HR Game

By Robbie Knopf

Sunday was a momentous day for the Rays are they achieved a series win versus the Rangers in resounding fashion, with James Shields tossing a 2-hit shutout, striking out 8 while walking none, while B.J. Upton slammed 3 home runs. Here are various quotes and stats related to the game.

  • It was B.J.’s 4th career multi-homer game. Incidentally, his brother Justin Upton has the same number- but no 3-homer games.
  • Make that 12. That was before B.J. smacked his 3rd homer of the game.
  • The 2-hitter was the third complete game where he allowed 2 or less hits of Shields’ career, with the other two occurring on 4/27/08 and 5/7/08. He has 5 career complete games where he allowed 3 hits or less.

It was really amazing that Shields hurled a 2-hit shutout and Upton hit a 3-homer game. But what about both of those things occurring in the same game? As it turns out, it was just the 6th such game since 1918, with the last one being 8/13/09 by the Cincinnati Reds. Bronson Arroyo tossed the complete game and ex-Ray Jonny Gomes had the 3-homer game. The other pairs are Wayne Franklin and Geoff Jenkins for the Brewers on 5/21/03, current Blue Jays manager John Farrell and Joe Carter for the Indians on 7/19/89, and then a pair of 1-hitters: Tom Cheney with the 1-hitter and Don Leppert with the 3-homer game on 4/11/63 for the Washington Senators, and Bob Feller with the 1-hitter and Ken Keltner with the 3 homers for the Indians on 4/25/39. There has never been a no-hitter and a 3-homer performance in the same game.

Why was Upton leading off on Sunday? Because Desmond Jennings had a sore back. That worked out pretty well for Upton, and Jennings will be OK as well.

And we’ll close with this story by Roger Mooney about how Ben Zobrist took time out of his day to have lunch with a little girl who lost her mother to cancer. Here’s what Zobrist had to say on the special meeting.

"“We touch each other’s lives in various ways. That’s the gift that baseball brings us. We can’t spend time with everybody, but when we do we try to bring a smile to somebody’s face, help them enjoy the game, help them enjoy life a little bit more. I think we all have opportunities to do that in our lives. And the other thing is it’s rewarding for us. At the end of the day it’s good to know that you tried to help somebody, tried to encourage somebody that day instead of living for yourself.”"