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04/25/2011 3:39 PM ET
James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays Named the American League Player of the Week
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Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending April 24th.

Shields notched complete games in each of his two starts last week en route to a perfect 2-0 record with 16 strikeouts in a Major League-leading 18.0 innings pitched. The Newhall, California native posted a 0.50 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .138 batting average while issuing just three free passes. Shields has now tossed at least 7.0 innings in four of his five starts this season. On April 19th, the right-hander recorded his sixth career complete game, his first since a one-hitter against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 9, 2008, by defeating the Chicago White Sox, 2-1, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Shields struck out nine and walked one, and became the first Rays hurler to surpass 1,000.0 career innings pitched. The victory snapped a string of nine consecutive winless starts (0-5) dating back to August 29, 2010. On Sunday, the 16th round pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft again went the distance, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Shields held the Blue Jays hitless through four innings before Juan Rivera singled to open the fifth. The 29-year-old struck out seven and walked two, needing just 95 pitches to become the first Rays pitcher to win back-to-back complete games since Albie Lopez in 2000. Already the Rays all-time leader in wins (58), games started (156) and innings pitched (1,016.0), Shields' seven career complete games moves him into the top spot on the Rays all-time list. In addition, he is currently ranked second in strikeouts with 829, just 45 behind Scott Kazmir. This is the second career A.L. Player of the Week award for Shields (previously the week of 4/28/08).

Other noteworthy performances from this past week included Shields' teammate David Price (2-0, 14 SO, 16.0 IP); Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (.474, 10 R, 9 H, 4 HR, 7 BB, 1.263 SLG); outfielder Peter Bourjos (.458, 11 H, 3 2B) and starting pitcher Jered Weaver (1-0, CG, 8 SO, 0 BB) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson (.421, 7 R, 8 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI); Boston Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie (.400, 7 R, 10 H, 2 HR, 7 RBI); Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Brett Anderson (2-0, 14 SO, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP); and Texas Rangers starter C.J. Wilson (2-0, 19 SO, 2 BB, 14.0 IP).

The winner of the American League Player of the Week, James Shields, will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at

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