The Tampa Bay Rays can’t seem to shake their August struggles, and that continued on Friday against the Boston Red Sox. The Rays would fall 8-4, dropping their record on the season to 65-70.
Chris Archer has been great for the Tampa Bay Rays this year. His 3.40 ERA , 8.4 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9 are all solid marks, and we all know that his fastball-slider combination is lethal. But it is starts like these that keep Archer from being among the best pitchers in the league. Archer lasted 4.0 innings, allowing 8 runs (7 earned) while giving up 10 hits, 2 walks, and hitting a batter. The problem is that Archer’s command remains inconsistent. At times he can pinpoint the ball anywhere he wants, but other times he can’t keep the ball off the middle of the plate, and that results in starts like this. Chris Archer has what it takes to be an ace for the Rays, but if he wants to get to that point he has hone in the consistency of his command and avoid starts like this.
After Archer, Cesar Ramos came on in long relief to throw 3.0 scoreless innings while striking out 5. Ramos has been great for the Rays in that role this year, throwing to a 3.53 ERA in 74.0 innings. Grant Balfour came on behind Ramos to throw 2.0 shutout innings while striking out 3.
The Rays got decent offensive production, managing 9 hits and 4 runs in the game. They scored their first run in the 2nd inning when Kevin Kiermaier singled home Yunel Escobar. Brandon Guyer added a 2-run home run in the 5th, and the Rays plated their final run in the 9th when Guyer singled in Kiermaier.
Guyer had a nice day at the plate, going 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. He has been solid this season for the Rays, hitting .271/.342/.382 so far. His power numbers aren’t what they were in the minors, but in August Guyer is slugging .463, leaving hope that he can be even better than he has been so far this year. Also with a solid day was Kiermaier, who went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Kiermaier has hit just .192 in the month of August, but he may be turning things around as he has hit .400 over his last 6 games. James Loney also added a multi-hit performance.