Archer Shines In Rays Victory Over Angels

Tampa Bay Rays’ C.J. Cron, right, hits a solo home run in front of Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Rays hit three homers in easy victory

The Rays rode Chris Archer’s best start of the season to a 7-1 laugher of a victory. C.J. Cron, Denard Span, and Johnny Field homered for the Rays in a game that was scoreless entering the sixth inning.

The team’s fourth-straight win brings them to 20-22 overall. They are 5-5 in their last ten, a solid rebound from a 5-game losing streak that came to an end last week.

Tampa Bay’s seven runs all came from the sixth inning on. In fact, Anaheim starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs struck out 7 and allowed just a single run in 6 innings of work.

The Angels got on the board in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Shohei Ohtani.

Cron stays hot; homers in Anaheim return

After a few years playing for the Angels, this series was already a bit of a homecoming for C.J. Cron. He got a warm reception from the Angels crowd before his first at bat, and homered in the sixth inning. The home run was the first run of the game.

In the seventh, Cron contributed in a different way. Cron reached first base on an infield single, then proceeded to steal second. He came around to score on a single by Daniel Robertson to extend the Rays’ lead to 4-0. It was a big return to a familiar stomping ground for Cron in leading the Rays to the victory.

Denard Span hit a two run home run in the seventh to put the Rays ahead 3-0. With Tampa Bay caught in a number of low-scoring games of late, they needed somebody to break the score open a bit. 3-0 isn’t the most comfortable of leads, but it was certainly welcome for a Rays team that has struggled at the dish.

Archer with a sharp outing

Chris Archer had his best outing of the season on Thursday night, going 6.2 innings with 5 strikeouts while allowing just 2 hits. The quality start was good for the win, and showed flashes of the top-of-the-line starter the Rays know he can be and has been in the past.

Among Archer’s five strikeouts are two that came at the expense of Mike Trout, just showing how effective Archer was on Thursday night.

Hechavarria leaves early

The injury bug continues to bite the Rays. Adeiny Hechavarria left Thursday night’s game with a strained hamstring in the second inning. He was reported to have a hamstring strain, and he’ll be re-evaluated on Friday.

This just a night before the Rays are expected to get Matt Duffy back from some hamstring tightness. Carlos Gomez was placed on the 10-day DL earlier in the week as well, depleting the Rays’ lineup considerably.

Blake Snell takes the mound for the Rays on Friday night as the late night games continue in Anaheim. The other pitcher on Saturday night will be Nick Tropeano, fresh off a six inning, three run appearance against the Minnesota Twins on May 12.

Tim Williams has been covering sports since his days as a student at Northeastern University covering events such as the Beanpot. In the thirteen years since, he has covered college hockey, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, and the National Hockey League. A native of the Tampa Bay area, Tim has returned home after living much of his life in the northeast, including sixteen years in the Boston area. These days the Managing Editor of Sports Talk Florida can be found on Florida's golf courses when he's not working.