James Shields halts Boston’s nine-game winning streak

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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.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.