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Shields and Rays down Red Sox

Monday, June 30, 2008

By The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- James Shields scattered five hits over 6 1-3 innings and B.J. Upton and Gabe Gross homered Monday to help Tampa Bay Rays beat Boston 5-4 to open a 1 1/2-game lead in the AL East.

The Rays (50-32), surprising owners of the best record in baseball, have won six of seven and ended a six-game losing streak to the Red Sox. It was the first meeting between the teams since their June 5 benches-clearing brawl at Fenway Park that led to the suspensions of eight players, including Shields (6-5).

Shields limited Boston to two runs before Tampa Bay's bullpen barely held on, giving the Red Sox their first three-game losing streak in more than a month.

Boston scored twice in the ninth to trim the deficit to one. Closer Troy Percival limped off the mound after appearing to tweak a sore hamstring backing up the plate on Jason Varitek's sacrifice fly. J.P. Howell earned his second save when Julio Lugo lined out.

J.D. Drew hit his 16th homer for Boston, trimming the lead to 4-2 in the sixth.

Rangers 2, Yankees 1

NEW YORK (AP) -- Scott Feldman and a reshuffled Texas bullpen shut down New York on four hits.

The win moved Texas to 43-41, the first time since Sept. 22, 2006, the Rangers have been two games over .500.

Rangers relievers threw 3 1-3 perfect innings, never letting a ball out of the infield. C.J. Wilson closed for his 18th save in 20 chances.

Josh Hamilton looped an RBI single and recently promoted rookie Chris Davis delivered another key hit for Texas off Mike Mussina (10-6).

Alex Rodriguez hit his 534th home run for the Yankees, tying Jimmie Foxx for 14th place on the career list.

Feldman (2-4) won for the first time in nine starts, pitching 5 2-3 effective innings.



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