ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – B.J. Upton hit three home runs, James Shields threw a two-hitter and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Texas Rangers 6-0 on Sunday.
Upton hit solo homers in the first, fourth and sixth innings. He struck out in second, and received a standing ovation before hitting a broken-bat grounder to third in the eighth.
Upton joined Evan Longoria (2008) and Jonny Gomes (2005) as the only Tampa Bay players with three-homer games.
Shields (14-8) permitted just three baserunners. Elvis Andrus reached on a first-inning error, Nelson Cruz had an infield single in the second and David Murphy singled in the eighth.
Tampa Bay took two of three in the weekend series against the AL West leaders. The first two games went extra innings.
Shields struck out eight in his second complete-game shutout this year. The other came in a 3-0 win over Oakland on July 31.
Upton put the Rays up 1-0 on a first-pitch leadoff homer against Roy Oswalt (4-3) in the first. Matt Joyce, mired in an 8-for-60 slide, made it 2-0 later in the inning with an RBI double.
Upton had a fourth-inning shot off Martin Perez that extended the lead to 5-0. He also hit his 21st homer this season against the left-handed reliever in the sixth.
Oswalt, making his first start since Aug. 23, left after two innings because of right flexor muscle soreness near his elbow. The right-hander, who allowed four runs and six hits, took the place of 15-game winner Matt Harrison, who had his scheduled start pushed back from Sunday to Tuesday to allow for extra rest.
Tampa Bay went ahead 4-0 on Jose Molina’s two-run homer during the second. It was his sixth homer this season and first since Aug. 17.
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