Better than James Shields. Better than David Price. Better than Alex Cobb.
Unfortunately, Chris Archer was not better than the New York Yankees.
Archer set a Rays’ strikeout record Wednesday night, punching out seven Yankees to bring his season total to 243. However, Archer also absorbed a 3-1 loss to lower his record to 12-12 on the season. Archer passed former Rays’ pitcher Scott Kazmir, who set the record with 239 in 2007 in a year he finished only 8-7.
Archer, whose ERA is 2.95, was stingy against the Yankees, giving up only two hits on four hits over six innings. He walked four, and two of them scored.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead when Greg Bird doubled and Carlos Beltran scored from first. In the sixth, Chase Headley knocked in Brian McCann, who had walked. Bird finished the scoring on a home run off of Andrew Bellatti.
The Rays scored their only run in the bottom of the sixth when Steven Souza Jr. doubled in James Loney. The Rays had a chance when they walked the bases loaded off of Dellin Betances in the seventh, but Behances struck out Loney to end the threat.
In the majors, Archer ranks third in strikeouts behind the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the White Sox’ Chris Sale.
Matt Moore pitches for the Rays tonight in the first of a four-game series against Baltimore, facing Chris Tillman.