Royals End Shields’ No-Hit Bid, Top Rays


Aug 2, 2009

Royals End Shields' No-Hit Bid, Top Rays ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Kansas City's late offensive outburst cost James Shields more than a victory.

John Buck ended Shields' bid for a no-hitter with a leadoff single in the eighth inning, Mitch Maier drove in three runs and the Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 on Sunday.

Shields dominated the Royals before Buck's hit started a two-run inning. Pinch-runner Ryan Freel advanced all the way to third when catcher Dioner Navarro made an errant throw to second on Alex Gordon's fielder's choice, and Maier drove him in with an infield single.

Gordon stole home later in the eighth when Maier got involved in a rundown, and suddenly Shields found himself in a 2-0 hole.

"He was very good," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "The crack was more defensive letdown than it was the fact that we were knocking him around the ballpark. I was glad John broke that up and then, obviously, we caught a couple of breaks."

Hillman left the team after his postgame media session to tend to a personal matter.

Brian Bannister (7-7) gave up five hits and struck out seven over seven scoreless innings, giving the Royals their first win in nine games against Tampa Bay this season. Joakim Soria, who allowed a homer to Ben Zobrist in the ninth, pitched the final two innings for his 18th save.

"If a guy takes a no-hitter into the eighth and you still beat him that day, then it's a good team effort," Bannister said. "We haven't beaten this team at all this year, and so to win it that way was extra special."

Maier kept the game scoreless by throwing out B.J. Upton trying to score on Evan Longoria's single to center in the sixth. He tacked on a two-run single in the ninth.

"I know he can run and Longoria hit one right at me," Maier said. "He hits it anywhere else, I have no chance at him."

Shields (6-8) wound up allowing two runs and two hits in 7 1/3 innings, dropping to 0-3 in eight starts since beating New York Mets ace Johan Santana on June 20. Shields struck out six and walked four.

"What are you going to do?" Shields said. "I went out there and pitched my best game and came up short. You move forward, that's all I can do. I pitched well enough to win and Bannister pitched better."

There has never been a no-hitter in 940 regular-season games at Tropicana Field. The Rays have not thrown a no-hitter in their 1,884 regular-season games overall.

"I wasn't really thinking about the no-hitter," said Shields, who is 5-1 against the Royals. "I wasn't. All I wanted to do is shut them out, give this team a chance to win and I didn't get the job done. It would have been nice, but we lost the game."

Shields allowed just one baserunner — a two-out walk to Yuniesky Betancourt with two out in the third — through five innings.

The Rays put runners on second and third with one out in the second but Bannister struck out Navarro and got Jason Bartlett to pop up to end the inning.

"I knew he had a no-hitter," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "But it's 0-0, let's go. Let's get some points on the board. We made too many mistakes to win that game."

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