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.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.