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Shields tabbed for reunion against Rays

MLB.com @wwchastain

CHICAGO -- An old friend will get the starting nod for the White Sox when they play the Rays in the final game of their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.

James Shields, who still holds numerous team records for Tampa Bay, will make his third start of the season against the team he played for from 2006-12.

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CHICAGO -- An old friend will get the starting nod for the White Sox when they play the Rays in the final game of their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.

James Shields, who still holds numerous team records for Tampa Bay, will make his third start of the season against the team he played for from 2006-12.

View Full Game Coverage

The Rays will have a celebration of the 2008 team that will take place when the White Sox are in St. Petersburg on Aug. 4.

"Wow, [2008] feels like a long time ago," Shields said. "It's pretty amazing to think about now. ... [The reunion] will be great."

Shields' name came up during Monday's game when Chris Archer surpassed David Price to move into second place for all-time strikeouts by a Rays pitcher. Archer has 1,066 strikeouts, Price had 1,065 with Tampa Bay, and Shields ranks first with 1,250.

"Oh, [Archer's] got it," Shields said. "I'll still try and hold the innings record."

Shields tossed 1,454 2/3 innings for the Rays. Archer stands at 983 2/3.

Holding the status as one of the more popular players to play for Tampa Bay, Shields was asked what he thought about the present-day Rays.

"It just seems like there's a lot of turnover over there, and that takes time," Shields said. "We had a lot of turnover before we started winning. And then when we started winning, we kind of kept the same group of core guys for quite awhile.

"They have a good squad over there. The three-man rotation. I don't know how long that's going to last. But we'll see how it goes. Those guys are grinding. Archer said that they have a bunch of good guys over there. We'll see."

Shields is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three career starts against Tampa Bay.

Kiermaier back on Wednesday
Kevin Kiermaier (bone bruise on right foot) did not play Monday or Tuesday, but he said he had improved to the point that he will start on Wednesday in the final game of the three-game series against the White Sox.

The Rays' center fielder wore a boot on Monday, and he had a boot on in the clubhouse following Tuesday's game, but he said he loosened up his foot and was able to put weight on it.

"Time and treatment, a little bit of rest can help," Kiermaier said. "I'm very happy with the progress I've made."

Almost home
Mallex Smith attempted to steal home on a pickoff throw to first base in the eighth inning of Monday's game against the White Sox. He was called out at the plate, though the play was reviewed and was subsequently upheld after video review. Had Smith stole home, it would have been the 11th time a Rays player has done so. Desmond Jennings last pulled the feat on July 3, 2012 vs. the Yankees, and no Ray has done that not involving a double steal since Melvin Upton Jr. on July 8, 2009 vs. Toronto.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, James Shields