Shields carries shutout into the ninth as Tampa Bay cools off Oakland 12-2

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—What a difference a day makes.

James Shields carried a shutout into the ninth inning before giving up a two-run homer, and Tampa Bay beat Oakland 12-2 on Friday night—roughly 24 hours after the Athletics pounded the Devil Rays by the same margin.

“The shutout would have been nice,” Shields said. “Anytime you get a lead like that, you’re in attack mode. But when you get beat like we did and then come back and do it to them—now we have a series.”

Shields (10-8) gave up nine hits and struck out eight, walking one and working out of jams in the third and sixth innings. The only runs he allowed came with one out in the ninth on Johnson’s homer to right.

Grant Balfour closed out Shields’ second win since July 17—a span of seven starts.

“(Shields) had a real good change up today,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “Not only was it a good change up, but it seemed like he could even locate it where he wanted to, so it made him extremely effective.”

Dioner Navarro hit a two-run homer in the second to give the Devil Rays an early lead. Navarro, batting just .230 entering the game, added a two-run double in the fifth.

“We were on the same page with Shields today,” said Navarro. “We have to be for him to pitch that way. And I was madder than he was after the home run. We wanted the shutout.”

The Devil Rays, who have the majors’ worst record at 49-79, have scored 10 or more runs in just eight games.

“It was the same night, just reversed outcome,” said Oakland outfielder Jack Cust. “Yeah, it’s strange. We were saying that before it even got to the same score as last night.”

Oakland, which moved back to .500 (65-65) one day after going above for the first time since July 7, lost for just the eighth time in 24 games.

Lenny DiNardo (8-7) gave up a pair of runs in the second before giving up four runs and six consecutive hits in the third. He was replaced by Ruddy Lugo without retiring a batter, and gave up six runs and eight hits in two-plus innings—his shortest start of the season since moving to the rotation May 29.

“Everything I was throwing was predictable,” DiNardo said. “It’s not a time for me to get down.”

Carlos Pena hit a run-scoring double in the third, scoring Akinori Iwamura from second. The RBI gave Pena a team-leading 82, and ties his season-high set in 2004. B.J. Upton, Delmon Young and Brendan Harris followed with consecutive run-scoring hits to make it 6-0.

Navarro’s double pushed the score to 8-0, then Upton hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Carl Crawford added a two-run single in the seventh.

“The biggest part of tonight was the situational hitting, and we got that,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “It was a pleasure to watch. It really was.”

The Athletics put runners in the scoring in the third and the sixth, but Shields wiggled his way out by striking out Jack Hannahan in the third and jamming Mike Piazza for a pop out to shortstop in the sixth.

Notes

Young snapped an 0-for-20 slump with his double in the second, and Harris snapped a 0-for-16 slump with his RBI single in the third. … CF Rocco Baldelli was shut down after he sat out his Class-A Vero Beach game Wednesday. Maddon said Baldelli is experience all-around soreness since his rehab started. … Oakland RF Shannon Stewart was given a routine day off. … SS Marco Scutaro returned to the lineup after being scratched before Thursday’s game with a non-baseball condition. … 2B Mark Ellis extended his hitting to nine games.

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