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TB@OAK: Shields tosses three-hit shutout vs. A's

James Shields would rather pitch in accordance with the normal five-day rotation, but with a pair of off days between starts, there's not much the right-hander can do.

When Shields takes the mound on Tuesday against the Blue Jays, it will be his first start in a week.

"It just gives me a couple extra days, that's all," he said. "I waited an extra couple days to throw a bullpen session ... I would definitely like a five-day rotation for sure, but the schedule is what it is. You just gotta go with it."

After his last start, Shields may have wanted to get right back on the mound. On July 31, Shields pitched a complete-game shutout against a hot Oakland team, allowing just three hits, striking out eleven and not walking a batter.

"I just like the way my direction was towards the plate," Shields said. "I was really in control of my body throughout the whole entire game. I had a really good angle on my fastball, which I was very pleased with, in which case there was a little more movement north to south.  Hopefully I can go in and repeat that and have a good couple months here."

J.A. Happ will take the mound opposite of Shields, making his Blue Jays debut as a starter. Toronto acquired Happ on July 20 from the Astros and the left-hander was added to the bullpen, despite being a starter his entire career. On Tuesday, he'll get his shot as a starter with the Blue Jays.

"He's an established Major League starter," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We acquired him to do that. He remained patient while we had to go through and sort some things out. And his opportunity's here now."

Rays: Shields wary of young Blue Jays
• Shields knows he won't have to face the Blue Jays' most dangerous hitter, the injured Jose Bautista, but he still said the Toronto lineup can be dangerous.

"I don't think there's an advantage," Shields said. "They're probably a little more free-swinging, I'd imagine. Losing Bautista, I think that definitely puts a damper on things... But they've got some good guys there that came up from Triple-A."

• The Rays' loss to the Orioles on Sunday snapped their series winning streak at three. The Rays were going for four straight series wins, something they haven't done since April 17-May 3.

Blue Jays: Day off will help injuries
• The day off on Monday couldn't come at a better time for the Blue Jays, as they work through a couple day-to-day injuries. Third baseman Brett Lawrie (strained ribcage) and outfielder Colby Rasmus (strained groin) were both out of Sunday's lineup. Rasmus was available to pinch-hit for Sunday's game against Oakland, but manager John Farrell did not use him.

"He is tough," Farrell said of Rasmus. "He's got a high pain threshold, but I think it got to the point where he had to say, 'You know what, I've got to protect against this.'"

Both Lawrie and Rasmus are expected to return to face the Rays.

Worth noting
• Happ, who pitched in the National League his entire career until the trade brought him to the Blue Jays, hasn't faced a Rays hitter more than nine times. Jeff Keppinger has doubled twice off Happ.

• The Rays lead the season series over their division rivals, 6-2. Comments