After three straight series sweeps and 30 runs in their last two games, the Red Sox were shut down by the Rays’ James Shields on Tuesday, getting blanked for the sixth time this year in a 4-0 loss.
For Shields, it was his third shutout already this season. The Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia entered the day as the only other pitcher with multiple shutouts. He has two. Justin Verlander also notched his second tonight in a win over the Indians.
The Red Sox had their best chance to score in the first, when they had first and third with one out and the bases loaded with two outs. However, Carl Crawford, in his first at-bat in the Trop since leaving for Boston over the winter, grounded out to first to end the rally. Crawford finished the game 0-for-3. He was left on deck when the game ended.
Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-4 for Boston, but he saw his streak of nine straight games with an RBI end with Boston’s winning streak.
With the victory, the Rays improved to 3-0 against the Red Sox this season. They’re 3 1/2 games back of Boston in the AL East.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.
Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.
Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.
The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.
Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.
Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.