How good was Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon?
He was good enough, for instance, that he left George Springer of the Houston Astros grumbling on Tampa Bay’s 10-4 victory.
On Archer’s final batter of the day, he struck out Springer after Springer had fouled off five pitches. Springer objected to Archer’s celebration, suggesting that Archer act as if he had struck out someone before, although Archer leads the American League in strikeouts (and losses).
“I think we both got caught up in the heat of the moment,” Archer said. “No hard feelings, no love lost. He’s a really good hitter. I know I was down to my last batter. He had a great at-bat. I was fortunate enough to win that battle.
“We’ve squashed it. We’ve already communicated. I was a little surprised. It was 3-2 he fouled off several pitches. At the same time, we’re both mature.”
Rays’ manager Kevin Cash shrugged off the incident.
“There are a lot of players who react to a lot of things.” Cash said. “It’s become a part of our game.”
Archer could have tied the record of Tanyon Sturtz loss record of 18 for one season with a loss. Instead, he improved to 8-17. He was sharp in the game, raising his record to 8-17. He is 4-6 since the all-star break.
“I pitched much closer to my ability today,” Archer said.
Archer allowed three earned runs on only four hits. Most of the damage came on a two-run homer by Jose Altuve.
The Rays had 15 hits, including three by Evan Longoria and Nick Franklin. The Astros cut the Rays lead to 4-3, but Tampa Bay scored five runs in the eighth on a two-run homer by Matt Duffy and a three-run shot by Corey Dickerson.
Tampa Bay now travels to Boston, where Matt Andriese pitches and Rick Porcello (who is 17-3).