ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.(AP)
finally got a win at home, after waiting nearly half the season.
Eight straight Tampa Bay batters reached base to start a six-run third inning that helped Shields and the Rays beat the
Toronto Blue Jays
11-4 Friday night.
''Today was a pretty important game for me, I hit 200 innings and that's one of the goals I reached,'' said Shields, who has
thrown 200 or more innings in three straight seasons. ''And got a 'W' finally. It's good to get that off my back and hopefully
I can finish up strong.''
Shields (10-11) had been 0-5 in his previous 10 starts at Tropicana Field since beating Kansas City 3-2 on June 4. He gave
up four runs and nine hits in six innings.
''It's almost like I'm getting stronger towards the end here, which is a good thing,'' Shields said.
had an RBI triple and
hit a run-scoring double in the third to help the Rays take a 6-2 lead.
hit his 31st homer of the season and had three RBIs for the AL champs, who won for just the third time in 16 games.
(6-10) was pulled after allowing five consecutive hits to start the third.
''He's been having trouble with his location for a while,'' Toronto manager
said. ''Tonight was bad location. No control with his fastball.''
Tampa Bay (75-73) has won two in a row for the first time since beating the
on Aug. 24-25.
''We're rollin' now,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said with a smile.
hit an RBI single in the first and
drove in a run with a double during the third as the
took a 2-0 lead. Toronto has lost 14 of its last 18 road games.
Lind has 104 RBIs this season, including 30 over the last 29 games. Wells has an 11-game hitting streak, and moved past
into second place on the Toronto career list with 292 doubles.
Richmond, 0-5 in eight starts since returning from a biceps injury on July 31, allowed five runs and seven hits over two-plus
each had an RBI single in the third. The Rays' sixth run of the inning scored when B.J. Upton hit into a double play.
The Rays went up 8-2 in the fourth when
and Zaun both hit run-scoring singles. Gross had a seventh-inning sacrifice fly.
Crawford tied his career high with his 59th stolen base when he took second in the eighth before scoring on Longoria's two-run
homer. Longoria has driven in 107 runs this season.
''Just let it go,'' Gaston said of Crawford's late stolen base in a five-run game. ''He (Maddon) runs his team the way he
wants to. I run my the way I want to.''
Crawford had no second thoughts about the play.
''I just want ahead and stole the base,'' Crawford said. ''I've seen worse. I didn't really think it was a big deal.''
Tampa Bay's bullpen, which worked the final three innings, has struggled recently, going 2-12 with nine blown saves in 13
opportunities over the past 39 games.
and pinch hitter
had RBI doubles during the sixth for the
NOTES: Tampa Bay is 12-4 against the
this season. ... Rays LHP Darin Downs was one of the players honored as a Tampa Bay minor league MVP. Downs, struck in the
head by liner while pitching for Double-A Montgomery on Aug. 17, is expected to be ready for the 2010 season. ...
(bruised right foot) might miss his next start Tuesday. ... Toronto reliever
has a hamstring injury and is day to day.