We've all seen this story before. The Rays went into Yankee Stadium against the Yankees, who sent Ivan Nova to the mound. Nova dominated the Rays hitters in a fashion he only wishes he could replicate against other teams. The only difference this time around was a different ending. Thanks to a complete game shutout by Rays rookie Chris Archer, the Rays slipped past the Yankees with a 1-0 victory.
Heading into the game, Ivan Nova had dominated the Rays in the Bronx, sporting a 4-1 record with a 2.20 ERA against them. Today, it was no different. By leaning heavily on his breaking balls, Nova limited the Rays to a sole run in his seven innings of work. He struck out eight batters in his outing while walking three and allowing six hits. Ivan Nova managed to escape most of the damage by pitching out of jams. In the fourth inning, Wil Myers led off with a double and was followed by a James Loney walk. However, the next three batters (Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce, and Kelly Johnson) would go down swinging at breaking balls in the dirt, all striking out on similar sequences.
The Rays would score their only run in the sixth inning thanks to a two-out rally. After Myers grounded out, Loney singled to center field. Ben Zobrist hit a chopper that resulted in a force out, and it looked like the inning would fizzle out. However, Ben Zobrist stole second base, Matt Joyce walked and Kelly Johnson blooped a single just out of the reach of the Yankee's CF Brett Gardner. Just like that, the Rays had a 1-0 lead.
For the Rays, that is all they would need with Chris Archer's tremendous two hit complete game shutout. By leaning heavily on his electric fastball and sharp slider, Archer struck out six batters and walked none. The only Yankee to reach second base was Gardner, who hit a ground rule double in the 6th inning. It only took Archer 97 pitches, 67 of which were strikes.
Tomorrow, the Rays look to sweep the Yankees. The game starts at 1:05 as Matt Moore takes the mound against Phil Hughes.