Rays 2, Pirates 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 17, 2012
James Shields' exhibition season has gone as well as he could expect. Except for one pitch. Shields struck out seven in six innings and allowed his first earned run of spring training as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Saturday. Tampa Bay's scheduled opening-day starter, Shields allowed four hits and walked none. He had thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings before Andrew McCutchen homered for the first time in the exhibition season, connecting on a fastball in the sixth. ''I was going to go down and away with the fastball,'' Shields said. ''It leaked back over the plate.'' Shields threw 46 of 67 pitches for strikes. He had not expected to pitch past the fifth. ''I was ahead in the count,'' he said. ''I was really efficient with my pitches. That's a recipe for success. You get to do that, you get to go deeper into games.'' To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the Rays wore green necklaces, the Pirates wore green hats, and the teams used green bases. Pittsburgh's Jeff Karstens allowed three hits and three walks, striking out five in five innings. ''He didn't have his best stuff,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''He pitched himself into a couple corners, but he got out of innings.'' Karstens, a possible opening-day starter, allowed two runners in both the first and second innings but escaped trouble both times. ''He has really, really solid awareness while he's on the mound of everything that's going on around him,'' Hurdle said. Karstens worked with catcher Rod Barajas, signed as a free agent during the offseason. ''To throw to him for the first time today was a tremendous help for me because that alone gave me the confidence that, during the year, I can trust whatever he puts down,'' Karstens said. Luke Scott, coming off offseason shoulder surgery, hit his first home of spring training in the fifth off Karstens. Scott went 2 for 3 to raise his batting average to .273. ''Things are starting to feel a little bit better,'' Scott said. ''I'm getting better timing, getting better rhythm.'' Carlos Pena tripled off Joel Hanrahan in the sixth, Pena's first hit of spring training and Hanrahan's first hit allowed. Pena scored on a wild pitch. Pirates reliever Jason Grilli had a strikeout and allowed one hit and one walk in two innings. He has not given up a run in five outings. NOTES: Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett (orbital bone fracture) threw his first bullpen session since surgery March 2. Burnett threw 30 pitches, all fastballs. ... Rays outfielder B.J. Upton did not play, three days after colliding with teammate Desmond Jennings during a game. Manager Joe Maddon hopes Upton can play Tuesday, either against the Miami Marlins or in a minor league game.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Lincecum has been throwing in secret location

RG3 passes exit physical, clears way for release

Bryce Harper has great response to $400 million contract question

Cavs discussed three-team deal that would net them Melo

Celtics reportedly discussing Kevin Love trade

New York Giants to pursue Matt Forte?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Mauer to try wearing sunglasses to improve pitch tracking

Charles Woodson joining ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown' team

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Why the Virginia Cavaliers are a National Championship contender

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker