Tampa Bay right-hander James Shields tossed a three-hitter for his first complete game of the season as the visiting Rays posted their third shutout in four games with an 8-0 victory against the A’s on Tuesday night.
B.J. Upton recorded two hits and two RBIs while Sam Fuld collected three hits for the Rays, who improved to 5-3 on their nine-game road trip while handing Oakland just its fifth loss in 24 games in July.
Shields (9-7) registered just his second win in nine starts, limiting Oakland to three singles while striking out 11. The right-hander, who retired 14 in a row before George Kottaras’ two-out single in the eighth, has fanned at least 10 batters in each of his past three outings.
Upton gave Shields all the offensive support he needed with an RBI single in the third inning and plated a run with a fielder’s choice in the ninth that capped the scoring. Jeff Keppinger and Sean Rodriguez each had an RBI single during the Rays’ three-run sixth while Desmond Jennings delivered a run-scoring base hit in the ninth.
Tommy Milone (9-8) was tagged for five runs and seven hits over six innings en route to his second consecutive loss.
Chris Carter and Jemile Weeks had the other hits for the A’s, who have struck out 32 times in the first two games of the three-game series.
NOTES: The A’s stayed quite as the trade deadline passed, electing not to make a move despite their July surge. ... Shields pitched 11 complete games, including four shutouts, last season. ... Oakland outfielder Coco Crisp missed his third consecutive game with a strained left hamstring.