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Rays stay out of cellar as Chris Archer pitches well against Twins

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Against the worst team in the American League, the best players for the Tampa Bay Rays finally were their players.

As a result, the Rays avoided replacing the Minnesota Twins in the AL cellar.

Tampa Bay won 7-3 over the Twins in a game with several heroes.

There was pitcher Chris Archer, who threw six innings of three-hit, one-run baseball. Archer is still only 6-15 on the season, but he’s 2-2 in his last four games.

There was third baseman Evan Longoria, who hit his 24th home run, and his sixth in his last six games. Longoria is on pace to finish with 36 homers.

There was closer Alex Colome, who was called on after the Rays gave up two runs in the ninth. It was his 27th save of the season.

“Nice bounceback win,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “Yesterday was a little sloppy; I’m glad we came out more energized today. Put together some good at-bats, got to their young pitcher early with the 1st-inning run and then some home runs. I thought Arch was good. He just ran out of pitches there at the end, and drove his pitch count up a little bit in that last (6th) inning. Brad Miller is still doing a lot of things for us. Loved the way he ran the bases today, aggressive, put himself in scoring position … just tremendous baserunning.”

Archer said he would have liked to have gone longer.

“I don’t know, I feel like lately I’ve been pretty efficient even when I do have a lot of strikeouts,” Archer said. “Tonight the 6th inning got away from me a little bit, but I’m not even worried about it. We got a team win, it was a great team game and I’m hanging my hat on that. … Six was all the team needed tonight. Our bullpen was pretty fresh, and it was a team win. That’s what matters. I definitely want to go deeper, but it’s not all about me; it’s about the team win.”

Matt Andriese pitches for the Rays today.

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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