ST. PETERSBURG — James Shields worked into the eighth inning to outpitch CC Sabathia, prolong Alex Rodriguez’s quest for his 600th homer and help Tampa Bay beat the New York Yankees 3-0 on Sunday.
Carl Crawford and Kelly Shoppach drove in runs for the Rays, who took two of three games during a matchup between the teams with the top two records in baseball.
The Yankees intended for Rodriguez to take a day off. But with Shields (10-9) sailing along with a three-run lead in the seventh, manager Joe Girardi inserted the slugger as a pinch-hitter with a runner on and two outs.
Rodriguez took a third called strike. He remained in the game at third base, but didn’t get to the plate again.
But the day belonged to Shields, who struck out 11.
Willie Aybar scored for the Rays on a Shoppach single to right field in the second inning.
In the third inning, Crawford beat out an infield single to allow Reid Brignac to score and move B.J. Upton to third base. Upton scored when Evan Longoria grounded into a double play.