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Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Cincinnati Reds: Complete Game James Looks For A Series Win

The Tampa Bay Rays (45-35) send their hottest pitcher, James Shields, to steal a series win from the Cincinnati Reds (41-40). Complete Game James (8-4, 2.29 ERA, 3.10 FIP) leads the league with six 9-inning showings -- to got with his three complete game shutouts. He enters today's game coming off three straight complete games, striking out 24 and walking only 4 in that span. His latest pitching efforts have landed him in Cy Young discussion.

Opposing Shields, the Reds send 27-year-old Edison Volquez (4-3, 5-77 ERA, 5.02 FIP), who is no where near 2011 top pitcher honors. In Volquez' last start, he could not make it through the 5th inning, allowing 4 runs on 5 walks and 7 hits, 1 of which was a home run. Home runs have plagued Volquez this year, having allowed 11 already. In the past though, Volquez never displayed a particular propensity to give up extra home runs, so hopefully the Rays can take him deep a few more times before his statistics normalize.

Today's starters' stats:


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - James Shields 8-4 16 16 6 3 0 0 121.2 89 34 31 12 28 117 2.29 .96


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Edinson Volquez 4-3 15 14 0 0 0 0 73.1 73 49 47 11 50 75 5.77 1.68

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.