ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Chris Archer didn’t need much run support from the struggling Tampa Bay hitters.
Archer allowed three hits in 6 2/3 innings, Bishop Luers product Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria homered on consecutive pitches, and the Rays beat Houston 5-0.
Tonight he was dominant, Tampa Bay catcher Ryan Hanigan said of Archer.
Archer (4-4) struck out eight and walked two to help the Rays win for the sixth time in the last 23 games.
It makes a huge difference when you’re pitching ahead, Archer said. Just getting strike one is key and that’s what tonight was proof of.
Three Tampa Bay relievers completed a three-hitter, sending Houston to its fourth straight loss.
Kiermaier hit a two-run homer before Longoria had a solo drive off Paul Clemens in the seventh.
Collin McHugh (4-5) gave up two unearned runs and four hits over six innings on his 27th birthday.
He’s got weapons, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
YANKEES 6, BLUE JAYS 4: In New York, David Phelps pitched seven strong innings, Carlos Beltran drove in two runs and New York got its 16th consecutive home win over the Blue Jays.
PIRATES 4, REDS 3, 12 inn.: In Pittsburgh, Russell Martin drew a bases-loaded walk from Tony Cingrani with two outs in the 12th inning to help Pittsburgh avoid a three-game sweep. Devin Mesoraco hit a solo homer off Pirates closer Jason Grilli with one out in the ninth, tying it at 3.
BREWERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 1: In Phoenix, Yovani Gallardo outpitched Chase Anderson in seven strong innings and Carlos Gomez extended his hitting streak to 15 games for Milwaukee. Francisco Rodriguez worked around a hit in the ninth inning for his majors-leading 23rd save.
BRAVES 3, NATIONALS 0: In Washington, Gavin Floyd, recently returned from Tommy John surgery, pitched six scoreless innings before leaving with an elbow injury, the latest setback for an injury-riddled Atlanta rotation and one that tempered the win.
METS 1, MARLINS 0: In Miami, Zack Wheeler tossed his first shutout and made David Wright’s first-inning home run hold up for New York. Wheeler (3-7) outdueled Marlins starter Andrew Heaney, who made his major league debut, in the longest outing of Wheeler’s young career.
PHILLIES 4, CARDINALS 1: In St. Louis, Ryan Howard homered and drove in three runs and rookie David Buchanan pitched into the eighth inning, sparking Philadelphia. Howard, a St. Louis native, has hit safely in 22 of 27 regular season games at Busch Stadium.
PADRES 4, MARINERS 1: In San Diego, Rookie Jesse Hahn pitched seven strong innings and pinch-hitter Chris Denorifa singled in the go-ahead run in a four-run seventh for San Diego, which rallied for the second straight game.