Chris Archer was stellar on Thursday night at Tropicana Field as the Rays shut out the Astros 5-0.  Archer and three relievers combined on a 3-hit shutout.  The Rays (29-45) take the series opener from Houston (32-42) and they’re now 3-1 against them this season. 

 

The game did not begin in favorable fashion for the Rays.  In the first inning, Desmond Jennings singled to lead off the game and got to 3rd base with nobody out, but the Rays could not drive him home.  In the prior game, the Rays loaded the bases with nobody out in the opening inning and failed to score against Baltimore.   

 

Tampa Bay did manage to break through in the 4th inning against Astros starter Collin McHugh.  Yunel Escobar drove in James Loney with an RBI single to make it 1-0.  Then, Ryan Hanigan’s safety squeeze plated Brandon Guyer for a 2-0 Rays lead.  Guyer was activated off the disabled list before the game as the Rays placed David DeJesus (fractured hand) on the DL.  

 

The Rays broke it open in the 7th on back-to-back home runs by Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria.  Kiermaier’s blast was a 2-run shot.  Rays opened up a 5-0 lead.

 

Archer was effective— 6 2/3 scoreless innings with just 3 hits allowed.  Archer walked two and struck out 8 to improve to 4-4 on the season.  McHugh (4-5) got the loss.  Brad Boxberger, Joel Peralta and Grant Balfour finished it off for the Rays.

 

The Rays continue their 4 game series with the Astros at Tropicana Field on Friday night.  5-6 David Price throws for the Rays against 6-5 Jarred Cosart.  Our coverage on 620am WDAE and 95.3FM begins at 6pm with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.