Game 139: Archer K’s 11, But Farnsworth Falters As Rays Lose in 10
The Rays came back to make this game the second consecutive extra-inning thriller they have played with the Rangers. But unlike Friday, they could not come away with a win.
Chris Archer made the start in place of David Price, who was skipped over due to shoulder soreness (although he will be fine moving forward). Archer made Rays fans forget that their ace had been the scheduled starter. Archer started off in style, allowing just 1 hit over the first 3 innings in the game while striking out 5. Yu Darvish was nearly identical for Rangers, striking out 4 over the first 3 frames while allowing just a leadoff single to Sam Fuld. Both were sharp, but the Rangers took the lead in the 4th.
After striking out Ian Kinsler to begin the inning, Archer walked Elvis Andrus, and Josh Hamilton immediately made him pay, destroying a hanging slider for his 40th home run of the season to make it 2-0 Rangers. Archer continued to struggle over the next two innings, allowing 2 hits, a walk, and a hit batsman, but he worked out of jams to keep it a 2-0 game. Darvish kept going strong for Texas, retiring 14 in a row from the 1st until the 5th, but Jeff Keppinger singed to begin the 6th and end the streak. Darvish then walked Ryan Roberts and threw a wild pitch to advance the runners to 2nd and 3rd before a Sam Fuld groundout pulled the Rays within 2-1.
The Rays had to be thrilled with how Archer performed. (Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)
Archer finished off his outing in resounding fashion, striking out the side to finish with 11 strikeouts for the game. As Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information tweeted, Archer was just the 5th pitcher in the last 3 years to strike out 11 or more batters within his first 3 career starts, but the cooler stat was that as the Rays Radio Network tweeted, the last four AL pitchers to strike out 10 or more batters within their first 3 games are all Rays: Andy Sonnanstine, Wade Davis, Matt Moore, and now Archer. Archer went 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 11 while walking 2. His one mistake was the Hamilton homer. Luckily the Rays did not leave him on the hook for the loss.
Joel Peralta tossed a perfect 8th for the Rays before they rallied against Darvish to tie the game. With 1 out, Jeff Keppinger walked and was pinch-ran for by Rich Thompson. Ryan Roberts struck out, but Thompson stole 2nd base on the play. Carlos Pena then came up as a pinch-hitter and managed to put the ball in play, but he hit a groundball to Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, who was playing several steps into the outfield. However, Kinsler misplayed the ball, allowing Pena to reach and Thompson to score as the Rays tied the game at 2. Fernando Rodney struck out 2 in a perfect 9th as the Rays looked to walk off in the bottom of the inning. B.J. Upton singled to begin the inning and stole second base with 2 outs, but Matthew Joyce‘s liner was caught by David Murphy as the g ame went to extra innings.
Kyle Farnsworth came into the game for the Rays and got a pair of groundouts as he looked to have an easy inning. But then Geovany Soto hit a flyball to deep left that B.J. Upton was unable to catch, maybe not playing it as well as he could have, as Soto ended up on second base. Jurickson Profar then hit a bullet groundball just past the diving try of Carlos Pena for a go-ahead RBI double, and the Rangers had a 4-2 lead before the inning was through as Farnsworth continued to crumble, allowing a walk, an infield single, and a bases-loaded hit batsman (Hamilton again). The Rays got a 2-out walk from Roberts in the 10th, but Carlos Pena struck out to end the game as the Rangers won 4-2. Pena was extremely upset at the call (the pitch appeared to be well off the plate) and actually earned a post-game ejection (whatever that means), but nevertheless the Rays lost 4-2. Pena was still upset after the game.
The way it ended stings, but the big problem in this game was Farnsworth’s collapse before that. On Friday, Wade Davis tossed two sharp innings in extras to earn the win in the game, allowing just 1 hit while striking out 5 before Ben Zobrist won that game with an 11-inning 2-run homer. But Farnsworth fell apart with 2 outs in the 10th, allowing the go-ahead run to the Rays loss. The Rays will go for 2 of 3 against the Rangers on Sunday at 1:40 as James Shields goes up against Roy Oswalt. This game was tough as Archer pitched well and the offense managed a comeback but the Rays still lost in extra innings, but the Rays have a chance to come away with a series win.