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Game 24: Chris Archer and Offense Struggle in 4-0 Loss

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The Tampa Bay Rays lost 4-0 to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night. Once again playing as the visiting team at Tropicana Field, the Rays offense only mustered 4 hits while Chris Archer had some rare command issues on the mound to lead to four runs.

Chris Davis got the first run on the board for the O’s in the bottom of the third inning with an opposite-field groundball single to counteract the shift the Rays had against him. Steve Pearce then followed it up with a double off to deep right field, which scored two more runs before Pearce was thrown out at third base on the play. Caleb Joseph hit a solo home run to left to put the O’s up for good at 4-0.

Chris Archer struggled with command his entire outing. He allowed lots of hard contact and walked 4 hitters in his 6 innings of work. He finished allowing 4 earned runs on 6 hits while striking out 5 and walking 4. Archer hadn’t allowed an earned run in his last 4 starts so perhaps he was due for an off-night. The hope is that it will be just a blip on the radar before he returns to dominance in his next outing.

O’s starter Miguel Gonzalez held the Rays in check all night, delivering 7.2 shutout innings. Ernesto Frieri and Xavier Cedeno did each throw a scoreless inning in relief of Archer. Fun fact: this was the first game in Rays’ history where the pitching staff only pitched 8 innings at Tropicana Field. That may seem trivial, but it was nice for the Rays that they didn’t have to burn another bullpen arm in a game that they lost.

The offense didn’t have much going for them on the night. Logan Forsythe did managed a two-hit game with a double and Tim Beckham got a base hit after being a late addition to the lineup. Desmond Jennings was initially in the lineup, but he was removed at the last second and now appears likely to be placed on the DL. At least the Tampa Bay Rays can make his DL stint retroactive to April 25th. Kevin Kiermaier also managed a hustle double after Adam Jones fielded the ball in center field rather sluggishly.

The Rays are back at it tomorrow as they look to win the rubber game against Baltimore at 1:35 PM EST. Nate Karns will take the hill for the Rays against Wei-Yin Chen who will be pitching for the Orioles in what should be their last home game ever at Tropicana Field.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: Slowing Down Exactly What Grant Balfour Needs

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