Found April 21, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
F8
After a rough beginning to the season, it appears James Shields has turned things around. The Tampa Bay starter tries for his third straight win Saturday night when the Rays continue their home series with the Minnesota Twins. Coming off a 2011 in which he set career bests with 16 wins and a 2.82 ERA, Shields (2-0, 3.38 ERA) opened 2012 by allowing six runs in five innings of a 7-6 loss to the New York Yankees on April 6. Since then, he gave up two runs in eight innings of a 4-2 victory at Detroit on April 11 and yielded just four singles in 8 1-3 innings of Monday's 1-0 win at Boston. "Shields didn't give us much to hit," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia told the Rays' official website. "He was on the corners, throwing all his pitches for strikes." Shields is 3-2 with a 4.69 ERA in nine starts against the Twins, including 2-0 with a 3.90 ERA in four at Tropicana Field. He hopes to help the Rays (7-7) rebound after they fell 5-4 to Minnesota in Friday's series opener. "We just have to move on," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, whose team blew a two-run lead by giving up three in the seventh. Josh Willingham extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a three-run double and Joe Mauer drove in two runs for the Twins (5-9), who are looking to win a series at Tampa Bay for the first time since 2006. Willingham is batting .333 with five homers and 12 RBIs on the season. "He's fun to watch," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's been on the baseball, that's for sure." Mauer, meanwhile, is hitting .443 with 19 RBIs in 18 career games at Tropicana Field. He's batted .381 (8 for 21) versus Shields. Teammate Justin Morneau, 8 for 23 (.348) with three doubles and a home run off Shields, is likely to be in the lineup after he sat Friday with a sore foot suffered in Thursday's 7-6 loss at New York. "Everything is fine," Gardenhire said. "It's pretty sore, (but) I expect him to be back out there (Saturday)." Minnesota right-hander Carl Pavano (1-1, 5.23) takes the mound looking to build on Monday's 7-3 victory at Yankee Stadium, where he allowed three runs and struck out six in seven innings. "Carl has always been a good pitcher," New York captain Derek Jeter said of the former Yankee. "When he's healthy, he pitches well. He mixes it up. He can throw any pitch at any time to anybody. He doesn't throw too many balls over the plate." Pavano, 5-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 13 starts versus Tampa Bay, gave up four hits and fanned seven in eight innings of a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Rays on April 14, 2011. Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria is 2 for 13 against Pavano, but he's homered in each of the Rays' last two games while driving home six runs . Teammate B.J. Upton, 7 for 16 (.438) with two doubles and a homer off Pavano, went 0 for 3 on Friday in his 2012 debut after beginning the season on the disabled list with a back strain.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Twins trying for series win in Tampa Bay

Back in the lineup, B.J. Upton appears ready to once again contribute for the Tampa Bay Rays. Coming off a big performance in his second game of the year, Upton looks to help the Rays to a second straight victory and a series win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday at Tropicana Field. Coming off a 2011 season where he hit 23 home runs and drove in 81, Upton began this year on the...

Niemann starts in rubber game vs. Twins

Back in the lineup, B.J. Upton appears ready to once again contribute for the Tampa Bay Rays. Coming off a big performance in his second game of the year, Upton looks to help the Rays to a second straight victory and a series win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday at Tropicana Field. Coming off a 2011 season where he hit 23 home runs and drove in 81, Upton began this year on the...

Shields, Upton key Rays' win over Minnesota

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- James Shields carried a three-hitter into the ninth inning, B.J. Upton had a key two-run single and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Saturday night. Shields (3-0) allowed one run and five hits over eight-plus innings while winning his third consecutive start after getting a no-decision on opening day against the New York Yankees. Upton...

Rays' B.J. Upton returns from DL

The Tampa Bay Rays have reinstated center fielder B.J. Upton from the 15-day disabled list. Upton had been sidelined with lower back soreness. He was hurt in an outfield collision with teammate Desmond Jennings in a spring training game against Miami on March 14. Upton went 3 for 21 in seven minor-league rehab games with Single-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery. Utility man...

With Upton back, Rays ready to take on Twins

Tune into Sun Sports at 6:30 p.m to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Minnesota Twins. The Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Moore entered 2012 with lofty expectations after two overpowering big-league starts last season. The highly touted left-hander, though, hasn't exactly lived up to the billing thus far. With Moore looking to get on track and B.J. Upton expected to make his...

Hendriks looks to follow up strong first start

The Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Moore entered 2012 with lofty expectations after two overpowering big-league starts last season. The highly touted left-hander, though, hasn't exactly lived up to the billing thus far. With Moore looking to get on track and B.J. Upton expected to make his season debut, Tampa Bay tries for a ninth consecutive regular-season home victory as it opens...

Rays CF Upton activated off 15-day DL

The Tampa Bay Rays reinstated center fielder B.J. Upton from the 15-day disabled list Friday.Upton was sidelined with lower-back soreness after being hurt in an outfield collision with teammate Desmond Jennings in a spring training game on March 14.Upton went 3-for-21 in sever minor league rehab games with Single-A Charlotte and Double-Montgomery.Upton is eligible to play Friday against Minnesota.

Golden Sombrero: Matt Joyce (4/6/2012)

Date: April 6, 2012 Bottom 2: Matt Joyce struck out swinging against C.C. Sabathia (6 pitches) Bottom 4: Joyce struck out swinging against Sabathia (4 pitches) Bottom 6: Joyce struck out swinging against Sabathia (5 pitches) Bottom 8: Called out on strikes against David Robertson (5 pitches) Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K  RE24: -1.1 WPA: -0.222 Notes: Clearly an off night for Joyce...

Longoria drives in 4, leads Rays over Blue Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and came within a triple of the cycle, Desmond Jennings added a solo shot and the Tampa Bay Rays ended a 10-game road trip by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 Thursday night. Longoria went 3 for 4 with a season-high four RBIs and reached base four times as the Rays tagged Blue Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez for a career-high...

Rays claim Brandon Allen off waivers

The Tampa Bay Rays have claimed 1B/OF Brandon Allen off waivers from the Oakland Athletics according to his agent. Allen was designated for assignment earlier this month. Allen was 0-7 with 5 SO's this season for the A's. He's a career .205/.291/.375 with 11 HR's and 38 RBI's in 331 Major League at bats throughout four years. Image by D.L. under the Creative Commons License.

Selig: 'Rays need a new ballpark'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig insists the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays must have new ballparks to be able to compete. Speaking on Thursday to the Associated Press Sports Editors, Selig provided no timetable for deciding the Bay Area dispute between the A's, who would like to build a ballpark in San Jose, and the Giants, who won't give up their...

Rays

  Do you own Matt Moore? I do. In fact I own him in a lot of places. Talk to me, weren’t there some spots in your draft that it was him or Yu Darvish? Granted it was a rainout but who do you want? The answer is Moore, IMO.   I watched his whole outing this Friday night with much anticipation. In fact, you couldn’t find a pitcher with better odds to win considering the Rays...

Rough 7th hands Rays loss against Twins

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Josh Willingham extended his season-opening hitting streak to 14 games with a go-ahead three-run double and the Minnesota Twins beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Friday night. Willingham's hit in the seventh off Joel Peralta puts him one away from tying Kirby Puckett's team mark of hitting safely in 15 straight games to start the 1994 season. The...

Jennings drives Rays to win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Desmond Jennings had one of the Rays' team record four sacrifice flys and drove in three runs as Tampa Bay beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Sunday. Jennings had a sacrifice fly during a two-run third and made it 5-0 in the fifth with a two-run homer off Francisco Liriano (0-3). Liriano went five innings, allowing five runs, three hits and four walks...

Twins 5, Rays 4

Josh Willingham extended his season-opening hitting streak to 14 games with a go-ahead three-run double and the Minnesota Twins beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Friday night. Willingham's hit in the seventh off Joel Peralta puts him one away from tying Kirby Puckett's team mark of hitting safely in 15 straight games to start the 1994 season. The Twins also got two RBIs from...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.