Shields exits early with hamstring cramp

Shields exits early with hamstring cramp

NEW YORK -- Devil Rays starting pitcher James Shields had to leave Thursday's game against the Yankees after completing five innings due to a cramp in his right hamstring.

Shields had just completed throwing a warmup pitch leading into the bottom of the sixth when he stepped away from the mound in pain. Rays trainers rubbed Shields' leg before he tested it with several pitches in front of Rays manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Mike Butcher.

Maddon then reached for the baseball and called on reliever Jon Switzer to take over.

Shields allowed four runs on six hits and fanned four batters while walking one.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.