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Rays

Shields keeps quality streak going

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Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 01:45 PM

BALTIMORE It's going to take more than a chilly, rainy night to derail James Shields, who continued his impressive streak of dominating performance Friday night in a 6-2 victory against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Shields pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed only one run to earn his third win of the season for the Tampa Bay Rays.

What's more, Shields has allowed no more than one run in each of his last four starts, a team record for a pitcher throwing at least 7 1/3 innings in all four of those starts.

"He's going out there and throwing the ball well every time he goes out," Evan Longoria said. "The way he's feeling right now when he takes the ball every fifth day is pretty impressive. He's given us a chance to win and better his cause, too. He's been pretty much lights out. He's fun to watch."

The only run Shields allowed came on a home run by Derrek Lee in the sixth inning. It was only the fourth home he's allowed this season, and the first in his last five starts.

"He's really been sharp," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's been sharp on both sides of the plate with all his pitches and he's been frugal with his pitches, working deep into games during this hot streak."

Shields is 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA in his last four starts.

Friday was his sixth quality start of the season in seven tries.

The Rays scored three runs with Shields still in the game Friday. They had scored nine during his first six starts.

Longo feeling better

Longoria, who doubled in his first at-bat Friday, said it was the kind of night to test his left oblique, which sent him to the disabled list for a month when he strained during the second game of the season.

"This was kind of test, the bad weather and a little chillier than we're used to. I felt good the whole game," Longoria said.

Longoria added that he's still getting used to playing every day after missing 27 games.

"At this point it's about getting back into a spot where I feel comfortable both offensively and defensively," he said. "I've gotten some results, but I still feel like I've been searching a little bit and that's really just a product of playing more games and just getting accustomed to being back here and playing every day."

First time's a charm

Brandon Guyer became the 108th player in major-league history to homer in his first major league at-bat.

The last to do so was Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia, who did it off Shields last Aug. 7.

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