Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays v M’s: Shields seeks revenge on Seattle
Posted May 2, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 2, 2012 at 05:16 PM
ST. PETERSBURG More members of the Mariners are walking around the A-ring catwalk this afternoon while others are running pass routes in left field.
Meanwhile, Sean Rodriguez and newly called up Will Rhymes are taking small ball BP with hitting coach Derek Shelton.
James Shields returns to the hill tonight as the Rays, winners of nine of their last 10, try to keep the train moving. The are 9-1 at the Trop this season, the best home record in the major leagues.
Shields is one three pitchers in team history to go 4-0 in April. Andy Sonnanstine (2008) and Matt Garza (2010) are the others. Today is May 2, but Shields said he’s not looking at this as his first start in a new month.
“A start’s a start, man. That’s it,” he said. “Obviously I’ve gotten off to a hot start, but that’s a team you can’t take lightly over there. Last year, I did pretty well against most teams, but I didn’t do too well against the M’s. Hopefully (tonight) will be another story.”
In 2011 Shields was 0-1 with an 11.12 ERA in two starts against the Mariners, allowing 15 runs in 11 1/3 innings. His next start will be against the visiting A’s, and Shields lasted four innings and allowed 10 runs in his lone start last year against the A’s.
“This one and Oakland are the two teams that kind of got to me last year,” Shields said. “I’m feeling really good right now. Everything’s good.”
Rhymes makes his first big league start at third base. Matt Joyce, who tripled and homered in Tuesday’s win while batting third, remains in Evan Longoria’s spot in the batting order for the second straight night.
Here are the lineups:
Beavan RHP(1-3, 3.60)
Shields RHP (4-0, 3.31)