DETROIT (AP)—Jim Leyland almost picked Tampa Bay’s James Shields for the All-Star game last month.
On Wednesday night, Shields reminded him why.
Shields allowed one run over seven innings as the Devil Rays snapped an eight-game road losing streak with a 7-1 victory over Leyland’s Detroit Tigers.
“We basically ran into a real good pitcher who pitched a real good game,” Leyland said. “He was under strong consideration for the All-Star game. He’s impressive.”
Dioner Navarro had three hits, including his second homer in as many nights, for the Devil Rays to raise his batting average to .201. Navarro, who hadn’t been over .200 since May 15, has four homers in his last 14 games.
“I’m just trying hard to get something going,” he said. “Hopefully, I can keep this up for the rest of the season.”
“You know you have to score a lot of runs against that team,” Young said. “They’ve got a lot of sticks.”
Detroit, which is 3-10 since July 25, remained one-half game behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central. The Indians lost 6-4 to Chicago in 13 innings.
Shields (9-7) beat the Tigers for the second time this season, giving up five hits in seven innings. He struck out nine without walking a batter.
“When you face a team like that, you’ve got to raise your game,” he said. “This was an all-around good game for us.”
Chad Durbin (7-5), making his first start since June 19, allowed three runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
“Durbin was fine,” Leyland said. “We knew he wouldn’t pitch long, and we let them have too many add-on runs. That killed us.”
B.J. Upton and Young had sacrifice flies as the Devil Rays took a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Placido Polanco homered on Shields’ first pitch of the fourth, but Tampa Bay came back with a run in the next inning.
Navarro led off with a double off the first-base bag, and with one out, Carl Crawford walked and Upton singled.
Macay McBride relieved Durbin and got Pena to fly out to shallow left with Navarro holding at third. Young, though, followed with a two-out RBI single to left.
“That was huge,” Shields said. “They had some momentum building, so it felt great to shut them down like that.”
Casey felt that Shields deflated the Tigers with the strikeout run.
“We had something going, and he just decided to shut us down,” Casey said. “His changeup is tough to pick up, and when he’s throwing it for strikes, it is going to be a long night.”
Navarro made it 5-1 in the sixth with a two-run homer, his fifth of the season.
“He’s playing pretty well right now,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said of Navarro.
Pena added a two-run single off Bobby Seay in the eighth.
Crawford extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning double. … Tampa Bay recalled reliever Jon Switzer from Triple-A Durham on Wednesday morning. Switzer took the roster spot of LHP Casey Fossum, who was designated for assignment after Tuesday’s loss. … Detroit’s Gary Sheffield (shoulder) started for the first time since Aug. 1, and went 1-for-4. “He looked good,” Leyland said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.” … Navarro had one homer in his first 66 games before the current hot streak. … Polanco extended his errorless streak at second base to 140 games, three short of Luis Castillo’s major league record.