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B.J. Upton hits three homers in Rays’ shutout of Rangers

Sep 9, 2012, 4:21 PM EDT

B.J. Upton AP

It’s not too often a two-hit shutout gets overshadowed, but B.J. Upton did his best to secure the spotlight on Sunday, hitting three homers in the Rays’ 6-0 win over the Rangers.

James Shields went the distance for the Rays, notching his second shutout of the season. He has eight in his career, six of which have come the last two years.

Roy Oswalt started for Texas, but he left after two innings with muscle soreness near his elbow. ¬†Youngster Martin Perez took over and pitched five innings of two-run ball, with Upton’s second and third homers serving as the only damage.

Upton became the third Ray to have a three-homer game joining Jonny Gomes (2005) and Evan Longoria (2008). He had a chance to go for a fourth homer in the eighth, but he grounded out.

Upton was sitting on 10 homers on this date a month ago, but he has 11 since, all of which have come in Rays victories. The surge has likely given his value a boost as he prepares to enter free agency this winter. More importantly, it’s put the Rays in the position to at least claim a wild card spot in the AL. They’re 77-63 after winning two out of three from the Rangers at home. They entered the day two games behind both the Orioles and Yankees in the AL East.

  1. proudlycanadian - Sep 9, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Congratulations to the Rays, Upton and Shields. With the Yankees beating the Orioles, Baltimore’s wild card opportunity is in doubt.

  2. chill1184 - Sep 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    AL wild card is going to be an interesting clusterfuck

  3. braddavery - Sep 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    In related news, B.J.’s power hitting brother Justin has 13 homeruns in more plate appearances this season.

  4. indaburg - Sep 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Big Game James’ stuff was electric today. One of the Rangers’ hits was a weak infield grounder. I think he would have no hit a lesser team. To do what he did against a lineup as potent as the Rangers was impressive.

    As for the Beej, he should be making mucho dinero after this season is over. He’ll be missed. Just don’t sign wi

    • indaburg - Sep 9, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      …just don’t sign with the Red Sox. (Gimme an E! Gimme a D! Gimme an I! Gimme a T!)

      • samu0034 - Sep 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        I’m pretty okay without an edit function. This way assholes have to own up to being assholes, there’s no editing their initial comment away.

        Agreed though, Upton’s going to get a big haul this offseason. Too bad he wasn’t this guy through the duration of his time in Tampa.

      • indaburg - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Hmmm… I hadn’t thought about that (assholes having to own up). Good point.

  5. proudlycanadian - Sep 9, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    The Rays have a big 6 game road trip coming up against Baltimore and NY. They pretty much need to win both series.

  6. billymc75 - Sep 9, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Perez is the prime example of why the stubborn headed rangers and Washington didn’t need guys like Oswalt

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