Game 65: Chris Archer Struggles, Rays Lose Low Scoring Game 2-1

By David Hill

Chris Archer v. Alfredo Aceves. A top prospect against a talented, but enigmatic pitcher who could combust at any point in time, and was called up essentially for this one start. Even if the game was to be a low scoring affair, it would have appeared to favor the Rays, just given the nature of the opposing pitcher.

At the start, both pitchers struggled a bit with their command. It appeared as though the Rays would get to Aceves first, as he walked the bases loaded with two out in the bottom of the second. However, Aceves was able to get Yunel Escobar to ground to short to end the threat.

The Red Sox wound up getting the first runs of the game. After Archer got two outs, he gave up a single to Jacoby Ellsbury, who stole second. Jose Lobtaton’s throw was wild, putting Ellsbury to third. Yet, in the end, the error did not matter, as Daniel Nava deposited the tenth pitch of the at bat into the right field seats for a two run home run.

Tampa had another possible scoring opportunity in the bottom of the inning, putting runners on first and third with no one out. Aceves then flashed that ability that has been able to keep him in the Red Sox organization, striking out Kelly Johnson and getting Evan Longoria to ground into an inning ending double play. Boston then had a threat of their own in the top of the fourth, loading the bases themselves with two outs. This time, Archer was able to get some measure of revenge against Nava, striking him out to end the threat.

That strikeout would mark the last batter for Archer, who threw 103 pitches in four innings of work, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks. He did manage to strike out seven batters, but he had trouble finding the plate at times during his outing.

The Rays finally got on the board in the sixth. With one out, Longoria hit a home run to center, cutting the lead in half. Unfortunately, that would be the last real scoring threat that the Rays managed, as they fell to the Red Sox 2-1. Archer took the loss, dropping to 1-2 on the season. Longoria and Matthew Joyce were each 1-3 with a walk.