Chris Archer Avoids Injury; Goes On To Dominate Braves
Chris Archer continued his strong spring surrendering only a single run in 4.1 innings of work against the Atlanta Braves near regular lineup. He only allowed four hits on the day tallying six strikeouts and walking only one.
The afternoon got off to an auspicious start when Archer barely escaped serious injury. Jason Heyward sent a groundball to first baseman Jerry Sands who threw to Archer covering. The 6’5″ 24o pound Heyward landed on top of Archers foot leading to a visit to the mound by Manager Joe Maddon and Athletic Trainer Paul Harker.
“I was like, ‘I hope this is not a Tim Hudson incident,’ ” Archer said. “Because Jayson Heyward is a big dude, and he was coming full speed.” (Tim Hudson broke his ankle when Eric Young landed on on a similar play last season [LINK])
Jose Molina had high praise for Archer saying “He’s been really amazing. Just catching him, it’s unbelievable, the ball coming out of his hand. It’s been incredible.” Molina added high praise for the Rays young right hander, “Hopefully, he keeps doing what he’s doing right now. Let’s put it that way. I don’t want to look too much forward but he continues to do what he’s been doing in three spring training games – believe me – we’re probably going to have another Cy Young here.”
Archer issued his only walk of the afternoon to Jordan Schafer with two out in the fifth inning and he promptly stole second base and came around to score on a Jason Heyward single.
The Rays offense was held to a single run in the third inning when Ray Olmedo singled to score Jose Molina who had stole second base. During the game Jose Molina had a stolen base while B.J. Upton was caught stealing – when asked about that Joe Maddon remarked “well we are at Disney.”
After the Braves tied the game in the fifth they went on to add single runs in the fifth and sixth innings before breaking the game open with a four spot in the eighth.
Atlanta Braves (7-10) 6, Tampa Bay Rays (8-4) 1
March 14, 2014
BATTING 2B: Johnson, C (5, Archer). HR: Terdoslavich (1, 6th inning off Geltz, 0 on, 0 out), Mejia, E (1, 8th inning off Runion, 1 on, 0 out). RBI: Heyward (4), Terdoslavich 3 (5), Mejia, E 2 (3). GIDP: Cunningham, T. Team RISP: 3-for-5. Team LOB: 5.BASERUNNING SB: Schafer, J (2). CS: Upton, B (1).FIELDING Outfield assists: Upton, B (Figueroa, C at 2nd base). DP: (Schafer, J-Kimbrel-Simmons, A).
Team ER: off Tampa Bay 6, off Atlanta 1. BB: off Archer (Schafer, J), Runion (La Stella), off Hale (Joyce), Kimbrel (Olmedo). SO: by Archer 6 (Doumit, Simmons, A, Laird, Freeman, F, Doumit, Uggla), Geltz 3 (Upton, B, Doumit, Reyes), by Hale 3 (Sands, Nix, J, Sands), Batista, L 2 (Rodriguez, E, Moore). WP: Archer. HB: Uggla (by Archer), Greene (by Runion). Balk: Runion. Umpires: HP: Angel Campos. 1B: Jerry Layne. 2B: Jeff Nelson. 3B: Ed Hickox. Official Scorer: Adrienne Midgley. Weather: 80 degrees, sunny. Wind: 4 mph, Varies. T: 2:47. Att: 9,786. Venue: Champion Stadium. March 14, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media; Copyright by MLB Office of the Commissioner