James Shields became the first pitcher in Rays history to throw three straight complete games and Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs to lead Tampa Bay to a 5-1 win over the Astros in Houston last night.
Shields (8-4) allowed three hits and struck out nine with one walk.
He leads the majors with six complete games. He’s the first pitcher since Toronto’s Pat Hentgen in 1997 to have six complete-game wins through the first 76 games.
“It’s unbelievable,’’ said Shields. “This is not how I expected to start, but it’s exactly how I want to start. So I’m going to try to keep it going.’’
Longoria hit a two-run shot before B.J. Upton’s homer gave Tampa Bay back-to-back homers for the first time this season in the Rays’ four-run third inning. Sean Rodriguez had three hits and scored twice and Longoria drove in a run in the fifth inning.
Chris Johnson drove in Houston’s run with a double in the seventh inning. It was the first earned run Shields has allowed in his last three starts.
Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez (5-4) allowed six hits and five runs in six innings to lose for the first time since April 24. He had been 4-0 in seven starts since then.
Shields became the fourth pitcher in the last five years to win three complete games.
Rockies 4, Yankees 2 — Jason Giambi hit a long homer against his former team and Ubaldo Jimenez overcame early wildness to pitch seven impressive innings, leading Colorado over host New York.
A.J. Burnett (7-6) became the first pitcher in Yankees history to strike out four batters in one inning when he followed up three ineffective innings with the major league record-tying performance in the sixth.
Phillies 1, Athletics 0 — Pinch hitter Ben Francisco’s RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth lifted Philadelphia past Oakland in a game in which rookie starters Vance Worley and Guillermo Moscoso took no-hitters into the sixth.
Diamondbacks 7, Tigers 6 — Wily Mo Pena, called up from the minors this week, hit a towering solo home run in the eighth inning, and visiting Arizona held on to beat Detroit.
Nationals 9, White Sox 5 — Brian Bixler raced home on shortstop Alexei Ramirez’s throwing error to start a four-run 14th inning as visiting Washington won its first game since manager Jim Riggleman resigned.
Angels 8, Dodgers 3 — Erick Aybar hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning and Howie Kendrick added a solo shot, rallying the Angels in the Freeway Series opener.
Brewers 4, Twins 3 — Prince Fielder doubled in the go-ahead runs with two outs in seventh to raise his NL-leading RBI total to 65 and rally Milwaukee over visiting Minnesota.
Orioles 5, Reds 4 — Derrek Lee led off the bottom of the 12th with a home run to give Baltimore the victory.
Mariners 5, Marlins 1 — Felix Hernandez (8-6) allowed two hits and a run over eight innings and Franklin Gutierrez delivered a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh for Seattle. It was considered a home game for the Marlins, who relocated the three-game series to Seattle due to a conflict at Sun Life Stadium because of a U2 concert.
Cubs 6, Royals 4 — Tony Campana hit a bunt single and scored the go-ahead run on an error in the ninth to lift visiting Chicago.
Rangers 8, Mets 1 — Matt Harrison (6-6) pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Beltre snapped a 13-game homerless drought, and Josh Hamilton hit his 100th career homer as host Texas routed New York.
Blue Jays 5, Cardinals 4 — Jose Bautista’s major league-leading 23d home run in the top of the ninth helped Toronto snap a four-game losing streak.
Giants 4, Indians 3 — Andres Torres, who homered and singled twice, scored the deciding run on Aubrey Huff’s long foul out in the sixth to lift host San Francisco.
Padres 11, Braves 2 — Tim Stauffer had a career-high nine strikeouts and San Diego scored its most runs at home this season.