Royals’ Shields faces former club for first time

Tampa Bay will see a familiar face on the mound when the Rays open a series with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday.

Kansas City ace James Shields will pitch against his former team for the first time since he was traded in the offseason.

"Obviously, it’s going to be a little different, but I’m going to treat it the same as I always have," Shields said. "I’m going to go out there and compete and try to win a ballgame.

"It’s going to be a little chess game out there. They know me, I know them."

Since becoming the Royals’ No. 1 starter, Shields has pitched quite well, recording a quality start in four of his five games.

In his last outing, the 31-year-old righty held the Tigers to three earned runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out four in eight innings. Shields retired the last 10 batters he faced.

"In those situations, he ups his game," manager Ned Yost said. "The deeper he gets in those situations, the tougher he gets."

Opposing Shields will be Alex Cobb, who was one of the reasons the Rays had the luxury of trading one of their best arms.

Cobb has pitched extremely well since taking over as Tampa Bay’s fifth man in the rotation, supporting a tidy 1.82 ERA, and his last outing was probably his best.

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Shields, Molina, Rodney have options picked up

ST. PETERSBURG— James Shields, Jose Molina and Fernando Rodney are in and Luke Scott is out — at least for the time being.

The Rays announced Wednesday afternoon they had exercised 2013 options for Shields, Molina and Rodney, while they opted to decline Scott’s $6 million option and instead will pay him a $1 million buyout.

Shields will make $10.25 million, Molina will earn $1.8 million and Rodney will be paid $2.5 million next season.

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Upton backs Shields’ complete gem with three HRs

ST. PETERSBURG— You can bet the Rays will take it.

Backed by James Shields’ pitching and B.J. Upton’s hitting, Tampa Bay took a 6-0 win over Texas on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field to complete a successful homestand that saw series wins over the Yankees and the Rangers.

"Shields was outstanding," manager Joe Maddon said. "That was as good as he’s thrown all year. Of course, B.J.’s performance … Between those two guys, it was fun to watch today."

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Shields keeps Rays in line for win over Jays

ST. PETERSBURG — Evan Longoria’s name may have been on the marquee, but James Shields stole the show.

The right-hander threw eight innings of one-run baseball as the Rays rolled to a 4-1 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

"It’s nice to go deep into the game and get a quality start underneath my belt — and also get a win," Shields said. "Hopefully I can roll from here on out. … I was just staying aggressive with my fastball and I was making adjustments as the game went on."

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I’m moving on and just trying to stay positive and keep grinding it out," Shields said. "My job right now is to go out there and get some wins, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.
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