NEW YORK (AP) — James Shields has pitched against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox an equal number of times during his career, so the Tampa Bay starter was hardly ruffled by a late switch in who he’ll face next.
The game between the Rays and Yankees scheduled for Sunday was postponed because of rain, pushing back Shields’ outing. Instead of wrapping up the series at Yankee Stadium, he will start the opener of a day-night doubleheader Tuesday at Fenway Park.
“It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s the Yankees, the Red Sox,” Shields said. “I go out there to pitch my game.”
Shields (11-9) has started 18 times against each AL East rival. He is 4-10 with a 4.25 ERA lifetime against the Yankees and is 6-10 with a 4.95 ERA against the Red Sox.
The game was called two hours before it was supposed to begin. Steady rain started in New York overnight and was forecast to continue all day.
No makeup date was announced. The Rays return to Yankee Stadium for three games Sept. 20-22, with the final date a rescheduled game from a rainout July 8.
A day-night doubleheader during one of those three days is likely. For the Rays, trying to catch the Red Sox and Yankees in the race for a playoff spot, that would mean a hectic last week — Tampa Bay would play New York in seven of its final 10 days.
“It makes September a little more crucial,” Shields said.
The Rays will skip Wade Davis, who was scheduled to start Tuesday afternoon in Boston. Shields will pitch in his place, with Jeff Niemann starting the night game and David Price working Wednesday afternoon.
“We don’t want to skip Price or Shields,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon is no fan of day-night doubleheaders. He also said the two straight days off weren’t overly welcome.
“I don’t need a doubleheader,” he said. “You don’t need all that extra time now.”
The Yankees plan to push their rotation back by a day. That means A.J. Burnett, winless in his last seven starts, will pitch Monday night in Kansas City. Rookie Ivan Nova will go Tuesday night, followed by Bartolo Colon.
Freddy Garcia was previously scheduled to start Sunday against Tampa Bay, but had been scratched earlier after he cut a finger in a kitchen accident.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he hoped Garcia would be able to start next weekend in Minnesota.
“I don’t think it’s that serious,” Girardi said.
NOTES: Ben Zobrist and some of the Rays took swings in the indoor batting cage, while a couple other Tampa Bay players threw on the field in the rain. Shields and Price watched the Little League playoffs on television and gushed over a great catch in the outfield. The Rays planned to take an afternoon train to Boston, a three-hour trip. “Never done it before,” Shields said. “Looking forward to it.” … Burnett is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA since beating Milwaukee on June 29.