Phillies tag Archer early, blow out Rays

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 16, 2018

While Archer has never pitched against the Phillies, his counterpart, Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta, hasn't faced the Rays (3-10) in more than five years, picking up his final win with Baltimore in his last outing against Tampa Bay in April 2013.

Rookies J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery drove in two runs each Saturday night in a 9-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Phillies' fifth straight.

Arrieta (1-0) gave up three runs in 6.2 innings after being spotted a 6-0 lead in the second.

That puts more pressure on starters to come through with quality starts, and Archer is easily the Rays' most reliable option as they battle through injuries that have pressed "bullpen days" into regular occurrence. "I got a ton of ground balls and that's the way I pitch". "It's tough to really evaluate and say something isn't working when right now, nothing is working".

The 32-year-old right-hander, who signed a three-year, $75 million contract on March 12 after winning 68 games and a Cy Young Award in five seasons with the Chicago Cubs, gave up seven hits and two walks in his second start for Philadelphia. He got 14 groundball outs and struck out only one.

Despite all the accolades, Archer has done little in his first four starts of the 2018 season to show why he was one of the Rays protected assets. Hoskins was hit by a pitch before Kingery doubled off the center field fence to drive in three.

"It's hard to square a guy like Archer up consistently anytime, let alone have it all come in one big inning", said Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

Odubel Herrera had three of the Phillies' 13 hits.

The pitcher tasked with turning that around is Blake Snell, who is coming off his first win of the season, striking out 10 and allowing only one run in six innings in a win last Monday against the White Sox. "I think one of the big things is everyone is positive out there no matter if we're down a couple runs or up a couple runs". "I put us in a bad spot all around".

Denard Span had two hits, including his first homer, and two RBIs and Jesus Sucre had two hits and an RBI for the Rays (3-12), off to the worst start in franchise history.

Phillies RHP Tommy Hunter (strained right hamstring) said he felt good after pitching in an extended-spring game in Clearwater.

Philadelphia (8-5) is in a much different place entering Sunday's season finale, having won five straight and seven of eight since opening the year 1-4. C Andrew Knapp (stomach virus) will be ready to play Sunday.

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