Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays pound Angels, clinch winning homestand

ST. PETERSBURG — Even before the Rays traded bullpen-saving David Price to the Tigers, starter Chris Archer preached the importance of staying late into games.

He accomplished that Saturday night, salvaging a six-inning start out of one that could have been much shorter in a 10-3 win over the Angels at Tropicana Field.

"That's what he's got to be able to do," manager Joe Maddon said.

Archer gave up three runs on six hits but wiggled his way out of bigger problems. He threw a wild pitch in the third to move Kole Calhoun into scoring position, but he froze one of the game's most dangerous hitters, Mike Trout, on the next pitch for the third strike.

The Angels got three runs off of Archer in the fourth but could have had more. Hank Conger's double put runners on second and third for Calhoun, but Archer struck him out.

"The strikeout to Calhoun was huge," Maddon said.

And after allowing a leadoff walk and stolen base to Trout in the fifth, Archer struck out Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to help defuse the threat.

Archer finished with nine strikeouts — the third most in his career — and continued a trend of longer outings. He has lasted at least six innings 11 times in his past 13 starts. The Rays are 21-7 since 2013 when Archer pitches that deep and 4-13 when he doesn't.

"I'm just happy that Joe had the confidence to leave me out there as long as he did," Archer said. "One hundred (nine) pitches, six innings, not ideal, but it worked for tonight."

His offense made sure of that with one of its best outings of the year in front of an announced crowd of 23,656. The Rays (54-56) roughed up starter C.J. Wilson in his return from the DL and forced the Angels to use four pitchers in the first four innings.

Evan Longoria blasted a two-run home run — his third since July 1 —to ignite an offense that scored at least 10 runs for the sixth time this year. Led by Ben Zobrist's second four-hit game this homestand, the Rays had 16 hits — their most since July 6.

And one night after coming away empty from a bases loaded, no-out situation for the 1-2-3 hitters, the Rays capitalized this time with Brandon Guyer knocking a two-run single to center to break open the game in the second. That was enough to secure Archer's seventh win of the year and provide a bounce-back from last week's loss to Boston.

"I felt like I was in total control of my mind, my body, my delivery," Archer said. "Didn't execute some pitches.

"But tonight was one of those nights where the team gave me plenty of wiggle room."

With their 12th win in their past 15 games, the Rays moved to five games out of the second wild-card spot and 7½ behind Baltimore in the AL East. They also secured their first winning homestand since late May and can win their ninth series out of the past 10 with a victory today.

Contact Matt Baker at [email protected]. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Comments
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won't be back on Fox Sports Sun's Tampa Bay Rays telecasts.Corddry completed a one-year contract with Fox, serving as the pre-, post- and in-game reporter.  She also covers college football for ESPN and does freelance work in the Wa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

UPDATE, 9:22: So, Colome says he was just using good social media manners, tweeting (at 4:15) this morning:"I keep getting nice messages and tags from those accounts, so I gave them a follow"And, keeping his emoji game strong, adding one with arms up...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Published: 12/13/17
Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

LAKE BUENA VISTA — A series of tweets by former Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco about sexual misconduct and politicians could put in jeopardy his job as a studio analyst on A’s telecasts. Canseco posted several times ...
Published: 12/13/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays add more infield depth, claim it isn’t prelude to a trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays on Tuesday adding their third infielder in the past two weeks would sure look like a precursor to trading front-liners such as 3B Evan Longoria or 2B Brad Miller.But GM Erik Neander insisted that was not the case and that ...
Published: 12/12/17