The return of James Shields to his old stomping grounds brought a return to form for the struggling Kansas City pitcher.
Shields allowed only three hits in seven innings of work, and fanned ten Tampa Bay Rays in a 6-0 win at Tropicana Field Monday night. He got early help from his teammates in the third inning, when an Alex Gordon RBI single and Omar Infante groundout made it 2-0. Both those hitters ended the night 3-for-5 with 2 RBI. Eric Hosmer added an RBI double of his own in the ninth to tack on an insurance run.
Kansas City bested former Royal Jake Odorizzi, who was part of the trade that brought Shields to KC in 2012. It was the first time the starting pitchers had squared off against each other since that deal.
The Royals will look to ensure a series win Tuesday evening in St. Petersburg. Jason Vargas is scheduled to take the hill for Kansas City against Jeremy Hellickson, who is set to make his first appearance of 2014.