The Rays were, once again, unable to win a baseball game. This time they accomplished their task (eighth in a row) by scoring no runs in a game where pitchers Chris Archer and Joel Peralta combined to give up only one.
Archer did his part, pitching seven innings and striking out eight Marlins, while only giving up five hits and two walks. I don't imagine he's very satisfied right now, as three of those hits came as singles in the fifth inning, and then one of those walks, a seven pitch affair to Christian Yelich, pushed in the games only run.
Archer threw 93 pitches, four of which were changeups. He's able to handle major league lineups with just two pitches, but are we approaching the point where Archer should be asked to treat these games like he did spring training, and really focus on getting comfortable throwing the change, even if it hurts him in the near term?
The Rays were stymied for the full nine innings by the pitch-to-contact ways of the red-hot Henderson Alvarez.. He pounded them with a hard sinker, and they obliged, hitting the ball on the ground 50% of the time. They put more men on base than the Marlins, but they also hit into three double plays and were caught stealing twice.
The highlight of the game offensively was Kevin Kiermaier's first career triple. Kiermaier has serious wheels. He hit the ball into the corner, and even though there were no defensive misplays (other than a possible lack of hustle from Giancarlo Stanton), he still managed to motor into third standing up. You can see the play here.