St. Petersburg, FL – St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - James Shields tossed an effective seven innings and the Kansas City Royals shut out the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-0, in the opener of a three-game set on Monday.
Shields (9-4), who was traded from the Rays to the Royals in 2012, surrendered just three hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts to win for the sixth time in his last seven decisions.
"It's always nice to pitch on a mound you've pitched on numerous times before," said Shields on his return to Tropicana Field. "Once the first pitch happened, it was game on."
Alex Gordon and Omar Infante both had three hits, two RBI and a run scored for the Royals, who used 14 hits to end a two-game skid.
Ben Zobrist supplied two of Tampa Bay's four hits and starter Jake Odorizzi (4-8), who was also a part of the 2012 trade between the two teams, was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs on six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
Infante singled and Mike Moustakas and Billy Butler both walked to load the bases with one out in the second. Odorizzi escaped the jam by getting Raul Ibanez to pop up and Alcides Escobar to ground out.
The Royals opened the scoring in the third. Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez both singled before Gordon's line drive single to right scored Hosmer. Gordon moved to second on the throw and Infante followed with an RBI groundout.
Kevin Kiermaier doubled to right with one out in the home third. Zobrist walked two batters later, but Shields struck out Matt Joyce to keep the Rays off the board.
"He threw really well," Kiermaier said on Shields. "It was one of those games where he really utilized his cutter."
Kansas City tacked on two more runs in the eighth. Back-to-back doubles from Gordon and Infante off Juan Carlos Oviedo scored a run and Moustakas' sacrifice fly gave the Royals a 4-0 edge.
In the ninth, Lorenzo Cain singled, stole second and came home on Hosmer's double to right. Gordon's bloop single to right scored Hosmer to account for the final score.
Hosmer extended his hitting streak to seven games ... Kansas City has won five of its last seven games at Tropicana Field ... Shields has won seven straight decisions against the AL East ... Tampa Bay went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.