RHP James Shields has been a different pitcher since his talk with pitching coach Jim Hickey before his July 31 start in Oakland. The subject centered on fastballs. Hickey wanted to see more of them from Shields.

In his first 21 starts, Shields threw his fastball 27.7 percent of the time, according to fangraphs.com. During his next two, 50 percent of his pitches were fastballs. The result was two wins in which Shields allowed a total of one run, five hits and struck out 17 in 17 innings to raise his record to 10-7 and lower his ERA to 4.08.

Shields, who faces the Twins this afternoon, said he is not aiming to make half his pitches fastballs.