Only two other rookie pitchers in the last 30 years won twice at Yankee Stadium in the same season. On Saturday afternoon, Ray’s rookie Chris Archer threw a two-hit, complete game shutout in the Rays 1-0 over the Yankees, joining Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez, who did it last year and Mike Butcher (former Rays pitching coach) in 1982 for the Angels.
Kelly Johnson drove in the only run in the sixth inning and Archer made it stick as he picked-up his second complete game in his last three starts in en route to his sixth win of the season and fourth straight in his 97 pitch outing.
The Rays have won each of Archer’s past seven starts, including June 23 against the Yankees. During this stretch, Archer is pitching to a 1.21 ERA.
Archer struck out six and walked none in his fifth consecutive quality start of the season, holding the Yankees off the base path until the fourth inning when Ichiro Suzuki reached on Evan Longoria’s error.
Archer gave up a single to Lyle Overbay with one out in the fifth and a ground-rule double to Brett Gardner in the sixth for the Yankees only hits.
Following the game, Archer was asked by Ray’s broadcaster Todd Kalas to sum up his day in a word, “stupendously amazing,” Archer said.
The Rays lone run was scored in the sixth when Kelly Johnson’s bloop single to center scored Ben Zobrist from second base.
The Rays (62-42) are now 7-1 on their current 10-game road trip and have won 9 of their last 10, 17 of 19, 21 of 24, and 24 of 29 since they were in last place in the AL East, seven games off the pace on June 23. They have gone 24-5 since to leap the four teams in front of them and take over first place.
With the win, the Rays improved to 7-5 in the season series and picked-up their first series win at Yankee Stadium since a two-game sweep May 19-20, 2010. The Rays had gone nine series (0-6-3) without a win since the sweep. On the flip-side, the Yankees have not won a season series against the Rays since 2009 (11-7), going 0-2-1 since 2010.
On Sunday, Matt Moore (14-3, 3.17) toes the rubber for the Rays aiming for his major-league high 15th win. Should Moore win, he would become the youngest pitcher to reach 15 wins before August 1 since Greg Maddux did it with the Cubs in 1988… Maddux was 22.
Chris Archer is the first rookie to throw a 1-0 shutout at Yankee Stadium since Milwaukee’s Teddy Higuera (1985) and the first rookie to throw any shutout against the Yankees since Baltimore’s Arthur Rhodes in 1992.
The Rays are 21-3 since June 29 and in that time the Rays rotation is 17-3 with a 2.01 ERA. The starters have gone at least seven innings a dozen times in this stretch and nine innings six times.
7/28: at Yankees, 1:05, Rays: Matt Moore (14-3, 3.17) vs. Yankees: Phil Hughes (4-9, 4.33)
7/29: at Boston, 6:05, Rays: David Price (5-5, 3.75) vs. Red Sox: Felix Doubront (7-4, 3.78)
For more info: Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox
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