Archer Leads, Rodney Finishes, Rays Defeat Twins 4-1
The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Minnesota Twins by a final score of 4-1. It was the Rays 6th victory in a row, 1o of 11, and 13 of 16 to improve to a season high 11 games over .500 at 51-40. The Twins lost their 3rd game in a row and their record falls to 37-50 on the year.
It was a quiet victory as the Rays scored all 4 of their runs in with 2-outs in the 4th inning. Kyle Gibson (1-2, 7.27 ERA) walked both Desmond Jennings and Luke Scott but retired Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria but jumped ahead of James Loney 0-2 nearly striking him out on a check swing. Loney eventually worked Gibson for a walk to load the bases. Matt Joyce delivered a 2-RBI single and Kelly Johnson followed with a 2-RBI double to give Chris Archer a 4-0 cushion.
Chris Archer (3-3, 3.59 ERA) continues to impress in the center of the diamond as he worked 6 solid innings allowing 1 unearned run on 3 hits striking out 2 and walking 0. Archer was pitch efficient only needing 84 pitches to navigate through 6 innings but after the game he credited his defense for his pitch efficiency saying, “biggest thing was the defense, they hit some balls pretty well, Kelly ( Johnson) went and got a few, we made a nice double play that helped me be more pitch efficient, Dez (Desmond Jennings) went and got a few, Loney (James) made a nice play in the 5th or 6th, so really it was my defense that was helping me be efficient.”
For the first time in his major league career Alex Torres came in to work in a back-to-back games and retired the Twins in order in the 7th. Jake McGee came in to work a scoreless 8th and turned the ball over to Fernando Rodney to close the game.
The Twins made it interesting with back to back line drive singles to Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit to bring the tying run to the plate. Rodney was up to the task striking out Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, and Oswaldo Arcia to pick up his 21st save on the season.