TORONTO — White Sox right-hander James Shields turned and watched, hunched over his knees, as Russell Martin’s shot bounced on top of the centerfield wall Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.
Shields’ first start since April 16 had been going well until that tying two-run homer in the sixth, but the sudden twist sent the former Ray to the dugout, where he sat shaking his head as the Sox fell behind in a 7-3 loss to the Blue Jays.
In his return from a right lat strain, Shields gave up three earned runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 52/3 innings.
The Blue Jays jumped on the Sox bullpen after that, scoring the go-ahead run on Ryan Goins’ triple off Anthony Swarzak in the sixth. The Sox lost for the first time in seven games at the Rogers Centre, missing a shot at their second straight series sweep in Toronto.
“Obviously, a 3-1 ballgame, you’ve got to get that out,” Shields said. “I got two outs quick in the sixth. I’ve got to bear down and get the out.”
This was Shields’ first trip to the disabled list in a 12-year career, and the 35-year-old said he felt “a little weird” to be back on the mound.
He had a 1.62 ERA and 16 strikeouts in three starts before he was injured, and he picked up where he left off, holding the Blue Jays scoreless through four innings. They broke through in the fifth on Kevin Pillar’s single to left.
“In between innings, I was telling the umpire at second base, ‘I need to slow myself down a little bit,’ ” Shields said. “Being in the league as long as I have, I still got excited. So I was trying to be real methodical with my rhythm. It felt good to be out …read more