Thursday, April 26, 2018
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
So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

BALTIMORE — LHP Jonny Venters ran through some pretty good emotions Wednesday night when after battling through a series of elbow injuries, he made it back into a major-league game for the first since 2012 — with a four-pitch out and a ga...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
After 9-5 win, Rays head back to Boston a different team: Here’s why

After 9-5 win, Rays head back to Boston a different team: Here’s why

BALTIMORE — When the Rays last saw Boston, they were trudging out of Fenway Park after a sweep by the Red Sox that left them with a 1-8 record that marked a very low point in their young season.They'll be back at Fenway Friday night, and riding...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Orioles, looking to make it a six-pack of W’s

For starters: Rays at Orioles, looking to make it a six-pack of W’s

UPDATE, 6:05: LHP Jonny Venters said he was touched and a bit overwhelmed by all the people the reached out to congratulate him on his return to the majors for the first time since 2012. … Cash said Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) is set to...
Updated: 5 hours ago
A look at the baseball world’s reaction to Venters comeback with Rays

A look at the baseball world’s reaction to Venters comeback with Rays

We tried to explain on Wednesday just how big a deal it was that the Rays were bringing LHP Jonny Venters back to the majors for the first time since his Braves days in 2012. And that it was not only a credit to how hard he worked and how long he per...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

The 12 years he spent in the Rays organization, and the seven seasons he was around the big-league team, mean the world to Alex Cobb.But Wednesday he wasn't in the mood for memories.After a third straight outing for his new Orioles team ended badly, ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 8-4 win over Orioles

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 8-4 win over Orioles

Marc Topkin's takeaways from the Rays 8-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday:* RHP Alex Cobb is going to be Alex Cobb again. But it seemed clear from watching him against his old Rays mates he's not quite ready yet, the result of signing in late March...
Published: 04/26/18
Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, consider the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays Journal: An 8-4 win over ex-mate Cobb in a record way, Venters context, Duffy update

Rays Journal: An 8-4 win over ex-mate Cobb in a record way, Venters context, Duffy update

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be mixed feelings for all parties with longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.Then they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in a messy fifth Wednesday,...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Published: 04/25/18
For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

The Rays and Orioles are going to try again to play tonight, though the tarp was on the field this afternoon and a light rain falling with heavier precipitation expected later.The Rays, who called up veteran reliever Jonny Venters this afternoon, are...
Published: 04/25/18