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Posts Tagged ‘Juan Rivera.’

Tampa Bay Rays’ Shields named American League Player of the Week

James Shields (file photo)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending April 24th.

The winner of the American League Player of the Week, James Shields, will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.

Shields pitched complete games in each of his two starts last week to compile a perfect 2-0 record with 16 strikeouts in a Major League-leading 18. innings pitched. The native of Newhall, California posted a 0.50 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .138 batting average while issuing just three walks.

Shields has now tossed at least 7.0 innings in four of his five starts this season. On April 19th, the right-hander recorded his sixth career complete game, his first since a one-hitter against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 9, 2008, be defeating the Chicago White Sox, 2-1, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Shields struck out nine and walked one, and became the first Rays pitcher to surpass the 1,000.0 career innings pitched. The win snapped a string of nine consecutive winless starts (0-5) dating back to August 29, 2010.

On Sunday, the 16th round pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft again went the distance, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Shields held the power-laden Blue Jays hitless through four innings before Juan Rivera singled to open the fifth. The 29-year-old struck out seven and walked two, needing just 95 pitches to become the first Rays pitcher to win back-to-back complete games since Albie Lopez in 2000.

Already the Rays all-time leader in wins (58), games started (156) and innings pitched (1,016.0), Shields’ seven complete games moves him into the top spot on the Tampa Bay all-time list. In addition, he is currently ranked second in strikeouts with 829, just 45 behind Scott Kazmir. This is the second career A.L. Player of the Week award for Shields who previously was selected the week of 4/28/08.

 

Info courtesy of MLBpressbox.com

LA Angels squeeze past Cleveland on Kendrick’s bunt single in 9th

compiled from staff and wire reports

Howie Kendrick (mlb)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim star Howie Kendrick has had only a handful of sacrifice bunts in 379 major league baseball games, four to be exact.

Wednesday afternoon, Kendrick shocked the Cleveland Indians and everyone else in Angels Stadium when he put down a bunt with two outs in the ninth inning to score Torii Hunter with the winning run as the Angels rallied for a 4-3 win.

The Angels, who generally lead the majors in bunt hits each season, began the game winning rally when Hunter used his speed to leg out a doubleĀ  leading off the ninth inning against Joe Smith (o-1). Hidecki Matsui was walked intentionally and reliever Rafael Perez got Kendry Morales to ground into a double play, moving Hunter to third base.

An intentional walk to Juan Rivera set the stage for Kendrick’s shocking ending to a very closely played game.

Indians starter Jake Westbrook allowed three runs and four hits over six innings. The 32 -year-old right-hander is still looking for his first victory since undergoing Tommy John surgery on June 12, 2008, and sitting out the entire 2009 season. He is 0-2 with a 5.53 ERA in five starts this year.

Indians outfielder Austin Kearns finished the team’s 3-6 road trip batting 12 for 29 with 2 homers and 9 RBI’s.