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09/28/11 7:38 PM ET

Shields stays strong despite heavy workload

ST. PETERSBURG -- James Shields pitched 8 2/3 innings Monday night to earn his 16th win of the season and move within two outs of 250 frames for the season.

Shields said he's not concerned about the high innings total, even if the Rays manage to get into and go deep in the postseason.

"My body feels great," Shields said. "Obviously [Monday night], I went 8 2/3. This is the best I've ever felt at the end of a season. I'm ready to go. If they need me on short-days rest, I'm ready to go. On regular rest, I'm ready to go. I could pitch 50 more innings if I wanted to."

Shields, who has surpassed 200 innings the past five seasons, smiled when asked if a part of him has been going, 'Wow, so that's what 250 innings feels like.'"

"I wouldn't mind doing it year end and year out," Shields said. "I just have to keep working harder and trust that my body keeps holding up."

Kotchman returns night after hospital visit

ST. PETERSBURG -- Casey Kotchman missed Tuesday night's game against the Yankees after being taken to the hospital with tightness in his chest.

All tests were negative, and the first baseman was released from St. Petersburg's St. Anthony's Hospital on Tuesday night.

"I just felt some tightness in my chest and they ran some tests on me at the hospital, and so far so good," Kotchman said. "Everything checked out."

When asked if the experience was scary, Kotchman replied: "I don't know. I don't think that's exactly how you draw up game 161, but everything checked out good and I'll be ready to go tonight."

Kotchman said what happened Tuesday night was a first for him, and he didn't really "want to analyze anything" in regard to whether he was experiencing heart problems, but he did note that what he felt was painful.

"Yeah, it was uncomfortable," Kotchman said. "It was very uncomfortable."

Kotchman had played in 103 consecutive games prior to missing Tuesday night's game. Kotchman was back in the clubhouse Wednesday feeling fine and was in the lineup against the Yankees.

"I saw him a couple of minutes ago; he said he was fine," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He definitely said he wanted to play, so we popped him in there. According to our medical folks, he's good. ... Just talking to him and looking at him in the eye, he looked very normal."

Sean Rodriguez filled in at first base Tuesday night because Maddon liked that he earned the distinction of having hit into a triple play earlier this season, then catching the final out of the Rays' 5-4-3 triple play Tuesday night.

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