Last time that James Shields earned the win was back on July 26th, when somehow he pitched 7.2 scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs. The Chicago White Sox since that game are 2-8 in starts made by Shields.
Tonight, thanks to converting double plays, Shields earned his 6th win of the season as the White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-1.
Tampa threatens in the first after Shields walked Evan Longoria. On a changeup low out of the zone, Brad Miller impressively muscled a line drive over the head of Leury Garcia in center. Thanks to a lucky bounce, it ended up being a ground rule double stopping Longoria at third. Shields was able to get Mikie Mahtook to fly out ending the threat and keeping the Rays scoreless.
Continuing their trend from Cleveland of getting out to an early lead in the first, the Sox took an early 1-0 lead thanks to Melky Cabrera's 40th double of the season. He is the first White Sox hitter to amass 40 doubles since Jermaine Dye in 2008. Jose Abreu hit a laser of a line drive to left, but Cabrera couldn't score on the hit. He would eventually score on Justin Morneau's sacrifice fly.
First Inning: After walking Evan Longoria, Brad Miller reached down to crush a change up over Leury Garcia's head in center. Lucky for Shields, the ball bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. If it hadn't, Longoria quickly scores but instead Shields got Mikie Mahtook to fly out ending the threat.
Tampa's next scoring opportunity came in the third. After a 5-4-3 double play had erased a leadoff single, Shields hit Corey Dickerson and walked Longoria. Still, the Rays couldn't cash in as Miller hit a weak grounder to Todd Frazier, ending the inning.
That changed in the fourth. Jaff Decker leads off the top half with a single. He followed that by a curious decision to attempt stealing second base, which he was successful as Carlos Sanchez couldn't handle Omar Narvaez's one-hop throw. Decker would come around to score on Curt Casali's single, but Melky Cabrera had Decker dead to rights at home, but Narvaez couldn't handle the one-hop throw.
Tied 1-1, Todd Frazier lead-off the bottom half with his 20th double. He got himself 90 feet closer with his 15th stolen base swiping third. Narvaez made up his fielding gaffe by hitting a sac fly to center, retaking the lead 2-1.
In the fifth, Corey Dickerson lead off with a single that became pointless as Longoria hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
In the sixth, Mahtook and Decker hit back-to-back singles putting Shields in real trouble. With his pitch count approaching 100, Shields lucked out getting Casali and former White Sox Alexei Ramirez to pop out. With two outs and running on steam, Bobby Wilson swung and missed on Shields curveball.
Shields final line: 6 IP 7 H 1 ER 6 K 2 BB.
Up 3-1 in the seventh, the White Sox bullpen took over, and Tommy Kahnle lost his newfound command, walking the first two batters. With Longoria up, Kahnle's slider induced another 5-4-3 double play. With two outs and a runner on third, manager Robin Ventura lifted Kahnle for Dan Jennings to face Brad Miller. On a 2-1 pitch, Miller grounded back to Jennings and was thrown out at first leaving the Rays scoreless again.
Nate Jones took over in the eighth, and that inning didn't start well. A Mahtook double and Decker single put runners on the corners with no outs. On a grounder from Casali, Jose Abreu was able to get Mahtook to commit heading home. That worked out in the White Sox favor as Abreu's strike was perfect to Narvaez for the tag, but runners were still on first and second on the fielders choice.
In a weird setting, Jones got Alexei hit a grounder to Tim Anderson, who flipped to Sanchez to start the inning ending 6-4-3 double play.
Thankfully, with the bullpen walking the pitching tightrope, the offense came through with the power late. A pair of two-run homers from Justin Morneau in the seventh and Carlos Sanchez in the eighth extending the Sox lead to 7-1.
Juan Minaya pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 ninth inning, closing the door on another White Sox victory, their third straight.
Jose Abreu hit a RBI single in the fifth for his 98th RBI.
The Sox turned four double plays, including two from Evan Longoria.
Record: 75-81 | Box Score | Play-by-Play | Highlights