Chris Archer Earns Victory Over Jays In First Start Of The Year
The Jays had an opportunity to win their first series against the Rays in Florida (includes a 3 game series in Orlando in 2008) since April 6 though 8, 2007. In that span of time the Rays have a record of 19-0-1. The task was not an easy one as they had to face right hander Chris Archer who over his last 19 starts of 2013 went 8-4 with a 2.89 ERA.
In his season debut Chris Archer was outstanding holding the Toronto Blue Jays to just two earned runs in 6 innings of work on four hits striking out seven and walking two. He made 98 pitches and 21 of them were at or above 95-mph.
Brandon Morrow started for the Jays and worked the first five innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits striking out one and walking four.
He departed the game trailing 4-2 and the score remained that way until the bottom of the 7th inning when Evan Longoria connected with the Rays first home run of the season – a 3-run homer that extended the Rays lead to 7-2. It was Longoria’s 163rd career home run tying him with Carlos Pena for the franchise record.
The Rays bullpen was once again very stingy in relief of Chris Archer. In the previous three games the Rays bullpen had worked nine innings and allowed one earned run on a home run by Jose Bautista against Josh Lueke. The pen added another three scoreless innings to the ledger as Brandon Gomes worked 0.2 innings, Joel Peralta 1.1 innings, and Heath Bell an inning.
The Rays opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Matt Joyce lined a double into the right field corner and came in to score as Ryan Hanigan singled over the bag at second.
They added a three runs in the bottom of the third. David DeJesus led off the inning by sending a sinking line drive toward Jose Bautista in right who attempted to make a diving grab but the ball bounced by him and DeJesus hobbled his way into third base with a triple.
He came in to score the Rays second run as Desmond Jennings grounded into left field and hustled his way into a double. The hustle was rewarded as he immediately scored on a Ben Zobrist single. Evan Longoria moved Zobrist with a single into the right field corner that advanced Zobrist to third. Brandon Morrow got James Loney to ground into a double play but Zobrist came in to score the Rays fourth run.
The Blue Jays put the leadoff hitter on base in the second, third and fourth innings. In the second and third inning the runners stole second to move into scoring position but Archer was able to work out of each jam.
In the fourth inning he wasn’t so lucky as the Jays scored a pair of runs to cut the Rays lead in half. Jose Bautista walked to leadoff the inning, moved to third on a one-out Adam Lind double that escaped the glove of a diving Desmond Jennings, and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dioner Navarro.
With two outs in the inning Brett Lawrie sent a groundball up the middle which was gobbled up by Yunel Escobar but he could not get a good grip on the ball. Encarnacion raced around from second to score the Jays second run as Ryan Hanigan was unable to corrall the one hop throw to the plate. This would be the Jays final runs of the night.
Tampa Bay Rays (2-2) 7, Toronto Blue Jays (2-2) 2
April 3, 2014
|Team ER: off Toronto 7, off Tampa Bay 2.
BB: off Morrow (Hanigan), Rogers, E 2 (Joyce, Jennings, D), Jeffress 2 (Forsythe, Escobar, Y), off Archer 2 (Encarnacion, Bautista), Peralta, Jo (Bautista), Bell (Izturis, M).
SO: by Morrow 4 (Longoria, Escobar, Y, Escobar, Y, Longoria), Jeffress 2 (Joyce, Jennings, D), by Archer 7 (Rasmus, C, Lind, Rasmus, C, Izturis, M, Rasmus, C, Encarnacion, Lind), Gomes, B (Goins).
Pitches-strikes: Morrow 87-50, Rogers, E 41-21, Jeffress 29-19, Archer 98-60, Gomes, B 16-10, Peralta, Jo 16-11, Bell 20-9.
Umpires: HP: David Rackley. 1B: Brian Gorman. 2B: Bill Welke. 3B: Jim Wolf.
Official Scorer: Bill Mathews.
Weather: 72 degrees, dome.
Venue: Tropicana Field.
April 3, 2014
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media; Copyright by MLB Office of the Commissioner