Rays beat Angels on walkoff wild pitch, 2-1
Tampa Bay's James Shields may be the hottest pitcher in baseball. But for a time Saturday, he also seemed to be the unluckiest as well.
After coming within three outs of a third consecutive complete game and second straight shutout, Shields had to watch from the dugout as the Angels rallied to send the game into extra innings before the Rays staged a rally of their own to win, 2-1, on Fernando Rodney's two-out, two-strike wild pitch in the 10th.
Matt Joyce, whose home run leading off the fifth gave Tampa Bay its first run, started the 10th with an opposite-field double to left, then moved to third on a groundout. With Felipe Lopez at the plate, Rodney bounced a two-strike pitch that skipped off catcher Hank Conger and bounced toward the Tampa Bay dugout as Joyce raced home without a throw.
Shields, who set down the first 13 Angels in order, had allowed just five singles through eight innings and was in trouble just once, when the Angels loaded the bases on three consecutive one-out singles in the fifth. But the right-hander, who matched a career high with 12 strikeouts, escaped the jam when he struck out Peter Bourjos and Alexi Amarista.
Torii Hunter finally knocked Shields from the game with a double down the left-field line leading off the ninth. Closer Kyle Farnsworth, who had converted all five of his save opportunites this season, got Vernon Wells on a grounder back to the mound. But Hunter moved to third on the play and when Howie Kendrick followed with a two-hopper to second base, Hunter slid home without a play when Ben Zobrist was unable to get the ball out of his glove cleanly.
That ended Shields' scoreless streak at a club-record 21 innings and cost him his third victory of the season. Reliever Joel Peralta got the victory as Tampa Bay recorded its first-ever win on a walkoff wild pitch.
Angels' starter Joel Pineiro, making a season debut delayed by shoulder stiffness, was almost as good as Shields in his seven innings, giving up just four hits and an international walk. But one of those hits was Joyce's second home run of the season, on Pineiro's second pitch of the fifth inning, and that proved to be the difference.
Despite that, Pineiro was in line for the loss before Hunter's daring dash tied the score in the ninth.
-- Kevin Baxter in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Photo: Angels shortstop Erick Aybar tags out Tampa Bay's Reid Brignac as he attempts to stretch a hit into a double in the third inning Saturday at Tropicana Field. Credit: Kim Klement / US Presswire