By FRED GOODALL, AP Sports Writer
June 4, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- James Shields took a two-hitter into the eighth inning and Carlos Pena homered for the second straight day to lead the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the Kansas City Royals 4-2 Monday.
Shields (5-0) struck out five, walked one and appeared set to go for his second straight complete game before giving up John Buck's second home run of the day and a single to Tony Pena with one out in the eighth.
Relievers Casey Fossum, Shawn Camp and Gary Glover protected the one-run lead through the eighth and closer Al Reyes came on in the ninth for his 14th save in as many chances, assuring the Devil Rays a split of the four-game series. With two on and one out, Reyes retired John Buck on a popup and struck out Mark Grudzielanek.
Pena's homer to right-center off Gil Meche (3-5) was his 11th of the season. The Devil Rays added an unearned run in the third when Dioner Navarro was hit by a pitch, moved to third when center fielder David DeJesus muffed a fly ball for an error and scored on Elijah Dukes' sacrifice fly.
Doubles by Pena and Ty Wigginton produced another run for a 3-0 lead in the fourth.
That turned out to be just enough support for Shields, who allowed two hits over the last eight innings of a 5-3 complete-game victory over Detroit last Wednesday and hadn't yielded a run in 12 innings before Buck's solo homer in the fifth.
Shields retired 17 of his last 18 batters in the complete game against the Tigers and was just as impressive against the Royals, retiring 11 in a row before Mark Teahen singled for Kansas City's first hit with two outs in the fourth.
Buck's second homer trimmed Kansas City's deficit to 3-2. The Devil Rays added a run in the eighth on Carl Crawford's triple and Pena's double on a high pop fly that dropped between first and second base for an infield hit.
Meche, who has lost four straight decisions, allowed three runs and four hits in six-plus innings.
Crawford tied Aubrey Huff for the franchise record for hits (870) with his eighth-inning triple. ... At 25, Shields is the oldest member of a revamped rotation that now features the youngest AL starting five since Cleveland had a rotation of Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee, Billy Traber, Jason Davis and C.C. Sabathia in 2003. ... After getting 23 hits in winning the first two games of the series, the Royals were limited 10 in losses Sunday and Monday. ... Devil Rays 3B Akinori Iwamura sat out for the second straight day with a bruised left eye. He will not travel with the team for a three-game series that begins Tuesday in Toronto.
Updated on Monday, Jun 4, 2007 6:00 pm EDT