A day after continued rains caused the Rays to receive a shortened start, another starter was unable to go deep into the game today. However, weather was not a factor this time.
Chris Archer made his season debut, and looked good in the first inning, retiring the Indians in order. However, he got into trouble in the second. After a leadoff walk to Nick Swisher, Jason Giambi followed with a two run home run, giving Cleveland an early 2-0 lead. Giambi struck again the the third, hitting a two out single to score another run as the Indians extended their lead to 3-0.
Meanwhile, Ubaldo Jimenez was cruising through the Rays lineup. After Luke Scott bunted against the shift for a base hit, he did not allow another baserunner until Yunel Escobar had an infield hit to lead off the sixth. In fact, of the Rays four hits, three were infield hits.
Despite being over 90 pitches, Archer went back out for the fifth. After a leadoff single, Asdrubal Cabrera belted another two run home run, putting the Indians on top 5-0. After Swisher followed with a base hit, Alex Torres entered in relief of Archer. For Archer, he allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks in his four plus innings of work, while striking out four. He had his moments where he looked good, and touched 96 to 98 on the radar gun, but had problems leaving his changeup up in the zone.
Jimenez pitched through the eighth for his longest outing of the year, allowing only the four hits and a walk while striking out seven. Torres provided the lone bright spot for the Rays, allowing only a hit and a walk in his four innings of relief, striking out six. Not only did Torres put in an excellent performance, but he also managed to save the Rays bullpen. Considering how the last two games have been, that may be just as impressive as his overall numbers today.
Jose Molina did manage to extend his hitting streak to nine games with an infield hit in the eighth.