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Chris Archer superb as Rays stifle Angels’ bats

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The bats were the same size. The strike zone had not been altered. The fences were not moved back.

But when Chris Archer is on the pitcher’s mound, it can make a world of difference for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Archer shut down the same potent bats from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, dazzling the opponents in a 6-1 victory Tuesday night. Archer struck out a record-tying 15 batters in eight innings, spreading six hits.

For Archer, 6-4, it was one of his most masterful performances, coming on the heels of a four-homer game for the Angels. This time, Albert Pujols tagged another one, but that was all the damage that Archer would give up.

Archer tied the Rays’ strikeout record held by James Shields.

The Rays broke the game open in the sixth inning when Jake Elmore had a bases-loaded single that barely evaded a diving Kole Calhoun’s glove, a catch that would have ended the inning. Logan Forsythe also had a two-run homer, and Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run single.

Archer now leads the major leagues in strikeouts.

The Rays remain one game back in the American League East to the New York Yankees.

The Rays play the third game of the series tonight in Anaheim. Nate Karns will be on the mound for Tampa Bay against Hector Santiago.

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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