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SEA@TB: Shields strikes out 11 en route to the win

Thoroughly dominant during Interleague Play last season, Rays starter James Shields will be more than happy to take the hill on Friday as his team begins a three-game series against the Braves at Tropicana Field.

In four Interleague starts last season, the right-hander led the Majors with three complete games and 42 strikeouts. He also tied the Major League lead with three wins and 34 innings pitched.

Facing the Braves only one time in his career, Shields said he's made sure to do a lot of video work since his last start.

"We've faced a lot of those guys before. I think I'm the only one on the staff who faced the National League East in the past," Shields said.

"They're a good team. They're a good squad. We can't take them lightly. We have to keep playing our game like we've been playing."

Shields will be matched up against Atlanta right-hander Tommy Hanson, who is 5-2 with a 4.78 ERA in eight career starts during Interleague Play.

His last time out, Hanson picked up his fourth win of the season against the Cardinals, tossing five-plus innings, while giving up one run on five hits.

Cruising through the first five innings in the contest, Hanson surrendered two hits before running out of gas in the sixth.

Yet before Hanson left the game, he managed to strike out nine, including five in a row at one point.

"I felt good with all my pitches," Hanson said. "For the most part, I did a good job of locating."

Braves: Jurrjens not as shaky as stats indicate
• While Jair Jurrjens was charged with 11 runs, 10 of them earned, in just 4 2/3 innings for the Gwinett Braves on Wednesday, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the internal report was better than the numbers showed.

"I saw the box score and I said, 'Oh [wow]!," Gonzalez said prior to Thursday night's series finale with the Marlins. "But then you get the summary update from the manager and the pitching coach. He was better than [it looked]."

Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed believes that while Jurrjens may have had something of an off night, he wasn't as bad as the official score book indicated.

"Last night might have been the worst scoring job I've seen in the history of baseball," Reed said. "He gave up four earned runs in the first inning. The guy basically dropped a fly ball in right field, and they scored it an inside-the-park home run, which cost him four earned runs. He gave up some runs, don't get me wrong. But the line score -- 11 runs, 10 earned -- that wasn't even close to the way he pitched."

Rays: Rhymes out of lineup
• While Will Rhymes said he felt fine on Thursday after being hit by a pitch and fainting on Wednesday, he didn't see any action in the series finale against Boston. Rhymes, was hit in the forearm in the eighth inning, but stayed in the game and went to first base. Moments later, he fainted.

"I feel good now," Rhymes said. "Last night, I was a little out of it and stuff. This morning, I was a little nauseous. As far as the arm goes, it feels way better than yesterday."

On Thursday, Rhymes wore an elastic sleeve over the spot where he got hit.

Worth noting
• The Rays are 6-15 all-time against the Braves, their second-worst mark against any opponent after the Reds (1-5).

• Rays closer Fernando Rodney is 12-for-12 in save opportunities this season. The Tampa Bay record for consecutive saves to begin a season is 16, by Rafael Soriano in 2010 and Al Reyes in 2007.

• The Braves hold an all-time advantage of 129-112 over their American League opponents, the second-best mark among all National League teams. Comments