Chris Archer Dominates Tigers In 7-2 Rays Victory
In yesterday’s 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers the Tampa Bay Rays improved their record to 40-50. It was a benchmark win for the Rays as it gets them to 10 games under .500 and the focus now shifts to getting to 5 games under .500.
Chris Archer (5-5, 3.16 ERA) was outstanding in holding the Detroit Tigers to just two runs on two solo home runs as he took the ball into the ninth inning looking for a complete game victory.
Overall he worked 8.1 innings allowing the two runs (earned) on six hits striking out four and walking four. He even mixed in several nice defensive plays of his own.
When the Rays were stuck at 18 games under .500 and fading in the American League East Manager Joe Maddon admitted that the team had a large task ahead of them to get back into playoff contention.
He did not want the team to to take a macro look at the task in front of them. He would rather they focus on short term goals like getting back to .500. Initially he had set a goal of reaching that mark by game 100 and while that goal is still in reach it is improbable that the team makes it but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other short term goals for the team to reach on their journey.
With the win the Rays improved to 16-8 since June 11th which ties them for the second best record in the American League and the best record in the AL East. Winners of eight out of their first 10 games on an 11-game road trip through Baltimore, New York, and Detroit they are now just 8.5 games behind the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles. Remarkably they only trail the fourth place Red Sox by 1/2-game, the third place Yankees by five games, and the second place
On Saturday the Rays offense was held hitless for the first 4.1 innings by Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez (5-5, 3.18 ERA) but Logan Forsythe ended the no-hit bid and the shutout by launching his 3rd home run with one out in the fifth to give the Rays the early 1-0 lead. Forsythe continues to shine in leading the Rays offense with a .407 average (22 for 54) in their run since June 11th.
The lead was extended to 7-0 in the top of the sixth inning as the Rays loaded the bases with nobody out. Brandon Guyer swung and missed at the first two Sanchez offerings but stayed within himself and sent a fly ball to center fielder Austin Jackson to score Matt Jocye from third base and was deep enough to move Evan Longoria to third base. Logan Forsythe followed with a perfectly placed safety squeeze bunt that resulted in a RBI single. Kevin Kiermaier followed with his second triple of the afternoon plating both James Loney and Logan Forsythe.
With the Rays holding a 7-1 lead in the ninth inning and Chris Archer in control and below 100 pitches he was allowed to come out and attempt to work the complete game. He gave up a solo homer to J.D. Martinez to lead off the inning and single to Torii Hunter before striking out Nick Castellanos. After walking Alex Avila to put two on and one out Joe Maddon went to the bullpen for Grant Balfour.
The Rays will look for the series win and to end their 11-game road trip with a record of 9-2 while playing in front of a National T.V. Audience on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
David Price (7-7, 3.50 ERA) will take the mound for the Rays and the Tigers will counter with Rick Porcell0 (11-4, 3.12 ERA).