Following his first start of the year, Chris Archer had to be determined to prove that he just had one bad outing. Tonight, he made his case against the Baltimore Orioles.
Both Archer and Orioles starter Jason Hammel were pitching well, as neither offense was able to get much going. The Orioles struck first, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Manny Machado had a base hit to center, scoring Chris Dickerson to give Baltimore the 1-0 lead. The Rays had a chance in the bottom of the inning, putting runners on first and second themselves with two outs and Kelly Johnson at the plate. However, Johnson flew out to right to end the threat.
From that point, Archer was in command, setting down twelve of the thirteen batters he faced after the third as he cruised through the Orioles lineup. Meanwhile, Hammel was giving up baserunners, but managed to keep the Rays off the scoreboard as he matched Archer zero for zero.
The Rays finally got to Hammel in the seventh. James Loney led off the inning with a base hit, and Desmond Jennings followed with a two run home run to dead center, putting the Rays on top. After two outs, the Rays threatened to score again, putting runners on first and second. Hammel was pulled at that point in favor of Troy Patton, who gave up a long fly ball to Ben Zobrist, but it was tracked down in center to end the inning.
The bullpen shut down the Orioles the rest of the way, with Fernando Rodney looking like his 2012 self as he recorded his thirteenth save of the season in the 2-1 victory. Archer gave up the one run on two hits and two walks, striking out two. He showed much better command in his second start, throwing 53 of his 84 pitches for strikes. Loney was 2-4 with a double and a run scored.