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MIN@TB: Shields strikes out seven over eight innings

Blake Beavan has been excellent this season. In fact, he's had a quality start almost each time he's taken the mound. The one exception was his last start, when he was an out away from the minimum six innings required for a quality start.

Beavan will attempt to continue his impressive start Wednesday against the Rays.

"I hate saying 'quality starts,' but I do take pride in keeping it at three runs or less," Beavan said. "That was the first time this year I haven't gone six or more, so that was a little tough for me because I usually figure I should go at least six to seven.

"My big focus every time is to go as deep as I can. Whether it's a quality start or not, if I throw enough strikes and keep the ball down, I should be able to hang around that long."

The 23-year-old right-hander will face a Rays lineup without one of its key pieces, as third baseman Evan Longoria is out for 6-8 weeks with a partial tear of his left hamstring.

"The bottom line is we've been in this situation before," Tampa Bay starter James Shields said. "We know how to react. We've got plenty of guys that can step up and take the role, and hopefully one guy does step up and take the role. If that's the case and he's out for a while -- and hopefully he's not -- we're just going to have to move on and deal with it."

Mariners: Using the long ball
The last nine runs scored by the Mariners have come from home runs, as well as 15 of the last 19. After his solo shot Tuesday, coupled with a grand slam on April 27, Michael Saunders is now responsible for five of the last nine Mariners runs.

Rays: Shields tries to remain unblemished
Shields gets his sixth start of the season on Wednesday. He is 4-0 this year and has won his last five decisions, tied for the second-longest winning streak of his career.

"They've got a lot of young guys, for sure," said Shields of the Mariners' lineup. "They've got a lot of young guys and those guys swing it over there. They're very aggressive. You've just got to attack the zone, just like I've been doing, and hopefully get some outs early in the game and early in each inning."

Worth noting
At 2-9 (.182), the Mariners have the lowest winning percentage by any American League team at Tropicana Field since 2010. Comments