|Tampa Bay (55-41) «||1||0||0||2||0||2||0||0||x||5||12||0|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Chris Archer had no trouble ranking his first complete game in the major among his list of baseball accomplishments.
"The best game I've ever pitched in my life," Archer said.
Archer (4-3) struck out eight and walked none. He has nine starts this season after making his major league debut last year.
"The past couple games, I felt strong enough to continue to pitch deep into the ballgame, but really I've never pitched into the eighth inning before -- minor league, major league, little league, whatever," Archer said. "But they had faith in me to go deep. We scored enough runs so that there was no question. We played tremendous defense which saved me pitches, and I was able to execute."
Desmond Jennings homered as the Rays won for the 14th time in 16 games. Tampa Bay completed its most successful three-series homestand at 9-1, and went into the All-Star break in second place in the AL East.
Houston headed into the break with a 17-inning scoreless streak. The Astros have lost 12 of 15 and have the worst record in the majors at 33-61 during their first season in the American League.
Between Saturday's third inning and the fourth inning Sunday, the Astros went 11 straight innings without scoring or leaving a runner on base. Only four runners reached base in those 11 innings -- two were doubled up and two were picked off.
Jennings hit his 11th homer, connecting in the sixth off Paul Clemens after Kelly Johnson's third straight single. Jennings also preserved the shutout by running down Jason Castro's 400-foot line drive to center field for the final out with a runner on base.
"Archy deserved it," Jennings said. "He threw as well as he has all year. He deserved to finish that game. I thought from the fourth or fifth inning he was going to pitch the whole game, just by the way he was throwing every pitch where he wanted. That was fun to watch."
Archer turned in Tampa Bay's 15th consecutive quality start and went a second straight start without walking a batter. The Rays have won his last five starts.
"I think good can be an understatement," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "He was excellent today. It was more about him that it was about anything else."
Rays manager Joe Maddon agreed, and will have to determine whether Archer stays in the rotation when Alex Cobb comes off the disabled list.
"Archy's been on a roll, but to pitch a complete game shutout is different," Maddon said. "To go six innings and leave and get a win is a nice thing, but the complete-game shutout, when you teach yourself that lesson, the sky is the limit."
Jennings beat out an infield hit in the first and scored the first run on Evan Longoria's double.
The Rays added two more runs in the fourth with the help of a throwing error by Erik Bedard (3-6).
Bedard gave up eight hits and struck out six in five innings.
|Rookie Chris Archer celebrates his first career complete game, a five-hit masterpiece against the Astros. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||3||1||.212|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.280|
|Jason Castro, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.269|
|J.D. Martinez, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.256|
|Brett Wallace, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||2||2||.222|
|Carlos Corporan, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.274|
|Justin Maxwell, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.231|
|Brandon Barnes, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.232|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.223|
|2B - Brett Wallace (5, Archer)|
|PK - J.D. Martinez (2, Archer)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|DP - Altuve-Cedeno-Pena|
|E - Erik Bedard (2, Throwing)|
|Erik Bedard (L,3-6)||5||8||3||2||2||6||0||4.61|
|Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 109-67, Paul Clemens 40-30|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 4-4, Paul Clemens 4-3|
|Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 24, Paul Clemens 13|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Desmond Jennings, CF||5||2||2||2||0||0||3||.267|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B-SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.260|
|Wil Myers, RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.288|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||3||0||1||1||1||2||1||.278|
|Luke Scott, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.274|
|Sean Rodriguez, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||3||3||.248|
|a-James Loney, PH-1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.315|
|Kelly Johnson, LF-2B||4||2||3||0||0||0||0||.244|
|Jose Lobaton, C||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.270|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||3||0||2||0||1||0||1||.251|
|a-grounded out for S. Rodriguez in the 7th|
|2B - Wil Myers (4, Bedard), Evan Longoria (22, Bedard), Luke Scott (11, Bedard)|
|HR - Desmond Jennings (11, Clemens)|
|RBI - Desmond Jennings 2 (38), Evan Longoria (52)|
|2-OUT RBI - Desmond Jennings 2 (17), Evan Longoria (24)|
|SB - Wil Myers (3, 2nd base off Clemens/Corporan)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Longoria-Zobrist-S. Rodriguez|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Chris Archer (W,4-3)||9||5||0||0||0||8||0||2.96|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Archer 112-80|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Archer 10-7|
|Batters Faced - Chris Archer 30|
|Attendance - 21180|
|Game Time - 2:51|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Will Little, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper|