Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 5/23/12
Tune into Sun Sports at 12:30 p.m. to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Although Tampa Bay's James Shields is tied for the major league lead in victories, he hasn't been particularly sharp lately. A start against the Toronto Blue Jays could help him regain his composure. Shields looks to become baseball's first seven-game winner as he takes the mound for the Rays in Wednesday's series finale with the Blue Jays, one of his favorite opponents. After posting a 2.73 ERA in his first four starts, Shields (6-2, 3.77 ERA) has yielded at least four runs in four of his last five outings. Against Atlanta on Friday, the right-hander gave up four runs, seven hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-3 loss. He was done after throwing 115 pitches, and his high pitch counts have led to several early exits. Shields, who led the majors with 11 complete games last season, has averaged 111.8 pitches in his last five outings, but has thrown 6 1-3 innings or less in each. Two of his complete games last year came against Toronto, as he posted a 0.71 ERA in winning his three starts in the series. He is 6-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 10 outings versus the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. The Rays (26-18) dropped Monday's series opener with Toronto 6-2 before bouncing back with an 8-5 victory the next night. They're 5-2 against the Blue Jays (24-20) this season and have won 17 of 25 against them since the start of last season. Tampa Bay pounded out 14 hits Tuesday with Carlos Pena, Luke Scott and B.J. Upton all homering. Pena, who was moved up from the middle of the lineup to the leadoff spot, snapped an 0 for 18 slide with a three-run homer and finished with two hits. "You can't really quantify how much of a difference it makes, but Joe (Maddon) is really smart by shifting things like that," Pena said. "It changes the energy and good things like this happen, not only individually but as a team. We put up some runs on the board and felt more comfortable." Tampa Bay's offense had been struggling, coming into Tuesday's game having totaled 13 runs in losing four of five. Replicating Tuesday's output could be difficult, however, against scheduled starter Ricky Romero (5-1, 3.64). Romero, 4-2 record with a 2.38 ERA in six starts against the Rays since the start of last season, allowed three runs, eight hits and three walks in six innings of a 7-3 win over Tampa Bay on April 17. Since 2011, Ben Zobrist is batting .125 in 16 at-bats against Romero, Matt Joyce is hitting .143 in 14 at-bats and Sean Rodriguez is batting .077 in 12. Against the New York Mets on Friday, Romero permitted one run, three hits and four walks in six innings of a 14-5 win. Base on balls have been an ongoing problem for the left-hander, who has issued 14 free passes over 17 1-3 innings in his last three outings. "I think at times I start aiming the ball, but ... I'll be better at it," he told the Blue Jays' official website. Fixing his control, however, might not be so easy against a patient Rays team that ranks second in the majors with 163 walks. The Blue Jays, winners of five of seven, got another big game Tuesday from Jose Bautista, who finished with three hits and two RBIs. The slugger is batting .340 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in the last 12 games after opening the season with a .177 average, five homers and 15 RBIs. He is 2 for 12 with a pair of homers and four walks against Shields since 2010.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team


Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker