ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - James Shields pitched seven shutout innings and Tampa Bay's suddenly potent offense scored runs in bunches Friday night to help the Rays continue an uphill battle to remain in playoff contention with a 12-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ben Zobrist and Jose Molina homered in support of Shields (15-9), who limited the Blue Jays to six singles and struck out nine to reach 200 for the second straight year. He fanned J.P. Arencibia leading off the second inning, giving the Rays the American League single-season record for strikeouts.
Luke Scott drove in four runs with a pair of doubles for the Rays, who are now 4 1/2 games back of Oakland in the wild-card race.
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