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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- The Red Sox' mighty offense, which had averaged slightly better than nine runs in the last week and a half, ground to a halt at Tropicana Field, and with it came an end to the team's nine-game winning streak.
The Sox were held to just five hits by James Shields as the Tampa Bay Rays posted a 4-0 shutout. All five of the Boston hits -- three by Adrian Gonzalez -- were singles.
Carl Crawford, returning to Tropicana Field for the first time since leaving the Rays last December, was greeted with a mix of boos and cheers, and went hitless in three plate appearances.
Tim Wakefield pitched well, allowing just four hits over seven innings, but was saddled with his first loss since May 6.
Wakefield threw 119 pitches, the most he's thrown in a single outing since Sept. 18, 2003.
The Rays got a solo homer from Jason Ruggiano for their first run in the fifth and later added a second when, with runners on first and third and one out in the sixth, Jarrod Saltalamacchia was charged with a passed ball as Evan Longoria crossed the plate.
They added two more runs off Tommy Hottovy and Alfredo Aceves in the eighth.
STAR OF THE GAME: James Shields
Shields tossed his third complete-game shutout of the season, limiting the Sox to just five hits all night -- all of them singles.
In so doing, Shields became the first American League pitcher to post three shutouts by mid-June in 17 seasons.
HONRABLE MENTION: Tim Wakefield
Wakefield got absolutely no run support, but deserved a better fate than to be left with the loss.
He limited the Rays to just two runs over seven innings and one of those was unearned, scoring on a passed ball. It was Wakefield's first loss since May 6.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Kevin Youkilis
The Sox were punchless at the plate most of the night, but Youkilis struggled more than most.
In the first, he struck out with runners at first and third. Then, in both the third and sixth, he hit into inning-ending double plays.
In all, Youkilis stranded five baserunners.
TURNING POINT: In the third inning, with runners at first and second, Youkilis hit into an inning-ending double play. After that, the Sox never put a baserunner in scoring position.
BY THE NUMBERS: Wakefield threw 119 pitches, the most he's thrown in an outing since Sept. 18, 2003.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "I'm going to try to make tomorrow feel as normal as possible. Today, I can't lie, it didn't feel like a normal day for me.'' -- Carl Crawford after returning to Tropicana Field for the first time since leaving the Rays.