Shields stays aggressive, cools off Rockies

May 3rd, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- James Shields pitched effectively on Monday night, and the offense finally rewarded him with a win as the Padres edged the Rockies, 2-1, at Petco Park.

In Shields' five starts leading into this series opener, he had turned in four quality performances. But the Padres had supplied just five runs of support, a big reason why the veteran right-hander had dropped his first four decisions for the only time in his career.

"It was nice for the guys to give me a 2-0 lead right out of the gate," Shields said of Matt Kemp's two-run double in the first. "It felt good, but that early in the game, it is not as harsh, because you got a long way to go."

Shields finally got his first win, but in his mind, he didn't pitch that much differently than his previous outings.

"It feels good, but I feel for the most part I have pitched well all season," said Shields, who is 1-4 with a 3.23 ERA. "I'm just trying to stay consistent."

Shields worked six innings and was charged with one run on nine hits and two walks. He struck out five in snapping the Rockies' three-game winning streak.

"We didn't get him a ton of support, but we got it early, so he was finally able to pitch with a lead for once," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He was really good. He had a few balls roll through holes for him, but he was able to stay away from the big inning."

Among the reasons were three double plays turned behind him in the first four innings.

"Our defense today was impeccable," Shields said. "I got the ground balls I needed when I needed to and we turned the double plays that got me out of a couple of innings."

After Shields' stint, Padres relievers Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer and Fernando Rodney didn't allow a hit and fanned six over the final three frames.

"Shields was outstanding through six and he got it to the guys who could slam the door for us," Green said.

Shields was going deep into his arsenal to stifle the Rockies' potent lineup. Among his pitches were a handful of slow curves clocked in the 60s that got him two key strikeouts.

"I've been throwing it three, four years now and last year at the end of the year I decided I want to throw it more," Shields said. "I break it out every once in a while when the situation dictates me throwing it. I've kind of mixed it into my repertoire."

Shields even mixed in a win as well to break the seal on 2016.

"I just tried to stay aggressive and stick to my game plan," he said. "I know it shows nine hits up there, but in my head, I didn't give up that many because of the hits they had.

"But that is a good ballclub over there. They put the bat on the ball and make things happen. But as long as we get those double plays, we are good to go."