Murphy happy Shields 'gutted it out' vs. Texas

Murphy happy Shields 'gutted it out' vs. Texas

ARLINGTON -- Padres right-hander James Shields wanted to go back out for the sixth inning.

In a 6-5 Padres win against the Rangers on Saturday, Shields struggled through a 31-pitch third, but he persevered to get through five innings and keep the score tied at 3, despite a high pitch count.

"I told [interim manager Pat Murphy] I'm good to go and I want to go back out," Shields said.

Murphy obliged, and the decision proved costly. After getting Josh Hamilton to ground out, Shields threw a fastball high and inside to Mitch Moreland. Moreland hit it out of the park for his second home run of the game. It put Texas ahead, 4-3, and ended Shields' night.

"I actually made a pretty good pitch to Moreland," Shields said. "It was up and in. A lot of times, they pop out or swing through that. He just pulled his hands in and didn't let the ball get to him."

Although the Padres came back to win thanks to a two-run, go-ahead home run from Yangervis Solarte in the ninth, the sixth-inning mistake put a damper on Shields' night. It was only the fourth time this season he hasn't completed six innings in an outing, and he still hasn't earned a win since June 3.

"We went with James [in the sixth], and it was a bad decision," Murphy said.

That, however, doesn't mean there were no positives in Shields' outing. Shields battled through a tough third in which he allowed two runs, but it could have been worse. The Rangers loaded the bases after Shields walked Rougned Odor to start the inning. Shin-Soo Choo brought in a run with a ground ball to second, but it turned into a 4-6-3 double play.

Prince Fielder singled to bring home the second run with two outs, and Shields walked Adrian Beltre before getting Hamilton to fly out to end the inning.

"If I don't walk the leadoff hitter, we're going to get out of that inning with no runs," Shields said.

After the third, Shields pitched through the fourth and fifth with little trouble. He left after 5 1/3, but his ability to get through the fourth and fifth made the night easier on the Padres' bullpen.

"He did not have his best stuff," Murphy said. "He was not comfortable from inning one, even though he had good results in inning one. You could see it, but what are you gonna do? Just pleased that he gutted it out."

Shields gave up the home run in the sixth, but his team fought back to get a win. And though it didn't work out for Shields on Saturday, that won't waiver Murphy's faith.

"You've got your leader out there, one of your leaders," Murphy said. "You've got to show faith in him. … You make bad decisions, but you have to trust your players, and I think that leads to them owning their performances."

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.