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Rays’ Chris Archer loses 19th game as Boston wins 2-1

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He pitched well. Really, he did.

Just not well enough.

Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Chris Archer lost his 19th game of the year – the most ever in a single-season for the franchise – in a 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox Friday night. It was the 11th straight loss by Archer to the Red Sox. Archer is the first 19-game loser since Kansas City’s Darrell May in 2004.

Archer gave up a two-run home run to David Ortiz in the first inning and nothing else. Still, it was enough.

“I’m not trying to be funny,” Archer said of Ortiz, “but I’m really glad I never have to face that guy again. I mean, he’s a really good hitter, and I feel like we’ve gotten the best of each other and I think in terms of baseball he’s gotten the best of me more than I got the best of him, so I’m glad I never have to face that guy again.”

Archer has pitched better since the All-Star break, and his 4.02 ERA is now at its lowest since Opening Day. Still, he faces the possibility of one more start and his 20th loss.

“It stinks whenever you’re on the mound for so many team losses,” Archer said. “A lot of times it goes back to a couple situations here or there, every single time, and just need to be better. Need to be better in those situations. We play tight games, we play one-run games, and defense supported me tremendously tonight. I just wish I could have been a little better on my end in that 1st inning.”

The Rays had a chance to tie the game in the ninth after Evan Longoria led off with a double. But Brad Miller popped out to short, and Mikie Mahtook and Juniel Querecuto both struck out to end the game.

“We had two righties on the bench (Richie Shaffer and Curt Casali),” said manager Kevin Cash. “Look, (Brad) Ziegler is really tough on right-handed hitters. Keeps the ball down really well, and he’s got the Frisbee that he throws away. So I thought Q [Querecuto] was our best chance right there being that he was left- handed. It’s a tough matchup against a righty or a lefty, but ideally you pick up that pitch a little better from the left-handed box.”

Matt Andriese pitches this evening against Boston’s 21-game winner in Rick Porcello.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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