Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Three homers back Archer as Rays beat Twins

ST. PETERSBURG — The last time Bobby Wilson caught Chris Archer was June 7 of last season, when Archer was on his way to a 9-5 record, 2.18 ERA start and his first All-Star selection.

Archer has not had the same success since, finishing last season 3-8 and with a 4.48 ERA, and starting this one 5-15 and with a 4.38 ERA. But to Wilson, who was behind the plate Saturday after rejoining the Rays, Archer looked as good as ever in a 7-3 win over the Twins.

"It's electric stuff," Wilson said. "You see his record and the stuff that's coming out of his arm, he's a guy who should be a 20-game winner, in my opinion, every year. … It is a little eye-opening to see it the other way, but it's about getting him back on track. And it's about winning."

Archer worked six solid innings, allowing a run on three hits and striking out seven to improve to 6-15, 4.26. And Wilson, a Seminole High product claimed off waivers from the Rangers on Thursday, did his part to help with a homer and an RBI single.

The Rays also got homers from Evan Longoria (his 24th) and Logan Forsythe (11th). CF Kevin Kiermaier made two key plays, a throw to third and a running catch. Dylan Floro couldn't finish with a 7-1 lead in the ninth, so Alex Colome did for his 27th save.

The win kept the Rays, at 45-64, ahead of the Twins (44-66) for the worst record in the American League.

It also clinched the Rays' first homestand win of the year. They have gone 6-3 versus the Yankees, Royals and Twins, with the finale today. "Disappointing but happy that it finally has come," manager Kevin Cash said. "Something we need to kind of focus on going forward, finding how to win ball games here."

DESMOND DOWN: OF Desmond Jennings went back on the DL for the second time this season and sixth since 2012, and could be done for the year.

Jennings suffered what Cash called "a pretty good bone bruise" Tuesday when he fouled a ball off his left knee, on which he had surgery last year. Jennings, making $3.3 million this season, declined to talk to reporters.

"Desmond is frustrated," Cash said. "He felt really good coming back from the DL (on Monday, after a hamstring strain). … I think he's in a very similar feeling that he was before his surgery last year. We went and got all kinds of tests on him. It does show up that there's a pretty heavy bone bruise."

Jennings will get treatment for a few days, Cash said, and "depending on how he goes about it, we'll see how to amp him up or not and test it out.'"

OF Mikie Mahtook, who was to play the final game in his rehab from a broken left hand, was activated.

FOX HOLE: Rays baseball operations president Matt Silverman and Giants GM Bobby Evans spoke Saturday about the injury status of SS prospect Lucius Fox, a key part of the return in the Matt Moore trade last week.

The Rays' position is that Fox has a bone bruise in his left foot as the result of a foul ball and likely will miss the rest of the minor-league season, and they were not made aware of it at the time of the trade. The Giants' position is that Fox had played for a week after the foul without complaining of discomfort.

Evans told the San Francisco Chronicle the issue seems to be a difference of medical opinion. He said the Giants would review the Rays' medical reports and some form of compensation could be worked out, possibly financial. Silverman declined to comment until the matter is resolved.

DUFFY UPDATE: SS Matt Duffy, the headline acquisition in the Moore deal, aims to join the Rays on Friday in New York after playing three more rehab games with Triple-A Durham, starting tonight. Duffy, rehabbing a left Achilles strain when traded, said he felt good playing two games with advanced Class A Charlotte but he didn't get a ground ball hit to him.

MORE MEDICAL: LHP Enny Romero's strained back was improving, Cash said, but he was put on the DL because the Rays couldn't wait longer while being short-handed in the bullpen. ... RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) was expected to throw a bullpen today with hopes of moving up to Durham to start Wednesday.

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