Homers back Archer as Rays topple Twins
MINNEAPOLIS — Chris Archer dazzled for six innings before some late trouble, while Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiermaier each hit two-run homers for the Tampa Bay Rays in a 5-2 win against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
Archer (4-3) allowed one hit until the seventh inning and struck out 11 batters. He ended up with two runs allowed on five hits. Alex Colome relieved Archer with two outs in the eighth and struck out Miguel Sano. Colome pitched a clean ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.
Morrison opened the scoring with his two-run shot in the fourth off Minnesota starter Hector Santiago (4-3). Santiago pitched 5 1/3 innings with three runs allowed on four hits and two walks. Santiago tied a season high with six strikeouts.
Kiermaier connected in the sixth and Steven Souza added a solo homer in the eighth for Tampa Bay.
Archer had struck out at least 11 batters in three of his last four meetings and his wipeout slider had many Twins' batters flailing.
Archer started off by striking out the first three batters he faced. He retired the first eight batters before catcher Jason Castro sent a hard grounder up the middle. The ball took an unexpected hop and hit shortstop Tim Beckham in the chest. Beckham couldn't pull in the ball cleanly, ending Archer's bid at a no-hitter.
Everything else was going Archer's way on a night that seemed bound for history. Right fielder Souza made a leaping grab on a ball over his head for one out. First baseman Morrison also snagged a bad throw at first base and kept his foot on first base to record another out.
Archer allowed just the one runner through his first six innings. He entered the game 5-1 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts against Minnesota. He was also 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in three career starts at Target Field.
Santiago was trying to do his part to match Archer.
Not known for strikeouts, Santiago struck out four of the first seven batters he faced. The left-hander had allowed one baserunner until the fourth when Corey Dickerson led off with a single and Morrison followed with a one-out homer to right, his 13th home run of the season.
Santiago walked Morrison with one out in the sixth, ending his night. Reliever Ryan Pressly retired Souza before Kiermaier connected for his fourth homer.
Joe Mauer singled to lead off the seventh and scored on Kennys Vargas' RBI single. Brian Dozier plated Eddie Rosario with an RBI single in the eighth and Minnesota had two runners on when Colome struck out Sano.
NOTES: The Twins announced that RHP Nick Burdi, one of the team's prospects and a second-round pick in the 2014 draft, suffered a full tear of his ulnar collateral ligament and is likely headed for Tommy John surgery. Burdi was 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in 14 games as a reliever for Double-A Chattanooga. ... Minnesota LHP Glen Perkins (left posterior shoulder strain) reported feeling good after a bullpen session on Friday and he could head to Florida to face hitters in extended spring training next week. Perkins has been more aggressive in his throwing sessions and he'll have one more bullpen in Minnesota on Tuesday. ... Twins RHP Phil Hughes is undergoing more tests and consultation with doctors as he deals with soreness in his right biceps. The team is trying to rule out any further issues, including to the area he had surgery on last season to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. ... Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said LHP Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.96 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.14) will start for Tampa Bay.