Tampa Bay pitcher Chris Archer overcame another milestone home run by Albert Pujols to win his third straight decision, tying a franchise record with 15 strikeouts over eight innings to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
Pujols tied Jimmie Foxx for 17th place on the career home run list with his 534th, putting him two behind Mickey Mantle. And he did it in his 8,134th big league at-bat â the exact same number that Foxx finished his career with.
Archer (6-4) matched James Shields’ club record for strikeouts, which was set on Oct. 2, 2012 in a complete-game 1-0 loss to Baltimore. The 26-year-old right-hander did not walk a batter and allowed six hits, including Pujols’ 14th homer and sixth in as many games.
Pujols’ solo shot in the fourth inning was the 1,118th extra-base hit for the three-time NL MVP, edging him past Foxx and Ted Williams into sole possession of 16th place in that department and putting him within one of George Brett.
Archer became the first Ray with at least 12 strikeouts in consecutive outings. Last Wednesday, he pitched eight innings of two-hit ball in his duel with Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and wound up with a no-decision in Tampa Bay’s 3-0 loss.
C.J. Wilson (3-4) gave up five runs, four hits and three walks in six innings and struck out seven. The left-hander, coming off a 12-2 win over Detroit last Thursday, hasn’t won consecutive starts since last September.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash sent out an all-righty lineup against Wilson in the first of four consecutive games in which Rays were scheduled to face lefty starters. It included switch-hitting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and center fielder Mikie Mahtook, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham after reliever Ernesto Frieri was designated for assignment.
Forsythe opened the scoring in the first, driving a 1-0 pitch into the lower seats in the left field corner with two outs after a single by Joey Butler. Forsythe has hit exactly six home runs in each of his last four seasons, none with more than one man on base.
The Rays did not get another hit until the sixth, when Jake Elmore drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single after Wilson plunked Brandon Guyer to open the inning and issued two two-out walks. Cabrera capped the rally with an RBI single that increased Tampa Bay’s lead to 5-1.
Archer struck out the side on 12 pitches in the second inning. He fanned his first two in the third before Johnny Giavotella singled off the pitcher’s leg and continued to second when Elmore â making his third career start at first base â dropped the throw from third baseman Evan Longoria on the ricochet. Archer overcame Elmore’s error by striking out Erick Aybar.
Rays: RHP Kirby Yates, sidelined because of a strained right pectoral muscle, is expected to pitch one inning in a rehab outing with Single-A Charlotte on Thursday after throwing an inning in an expended string training game on Monday. … LHP Matt Moore is on tap to throw 50 pitches Wednesday for Charlotte in a rehab game while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Rays: Rookie RHP Nathan Karns (3-2) pitched six innings of one-hit ball last Friday at Baltimore and left with a 1-0 lead, but had to settle for a no-decision.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (4-3) is 2-0 in his last five starts at home, allowing three earned runs in 31 innings.