So, let's talk about what was arguably the worst outing of Chris Archer's career. First, he didn't pitch as poorly as the boxscore would lead you to believe. Yes he allowed nine earned runs but five came in one strange inning. With a man on first and one out, Alcides Escobar picked up an infield single after the ball deflected off Archer's ankle. That was his second hit of the game that deflected off Archer. Now with two outs, Lorenzo Cain hit a ball up the middle that was fielded by Logan Forsythe as his momentum pulled him toward left field. He had to make an awkward, weak throw back toward the infield that was picked up by Archer, whose throw home to Rene Rivera was a second too late as the tying run scored.
Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales took advantage of pitches Archer left up in the zone, bringing home three more runs in total. Salvador Perez singled on a soft liner to Brandon Guyer in right field, who most have forgotten Morales was on base because he casually lobbed the ball to second base, hitting the umpire in the back and allowing an alert Morales to score. Later on in the game Guyer would lose a flyball in the lights, having it deflect off his glove for a generous "double" for Cain. Not a great night for Guyer.
With two outs and one on in the sixth inning, Jarrod Dyson hit a blooper toward the left field line. The Rays positioned their defense for him to pull the ball, forcing David DeJesus to run a long way to make a diving attempt at the out. Unfortunately, the ball glanced off his glove and rolled behind him, gifting the speedy Dyson an inside the park home run. It looked like DeJesus should have caught the ball and I appreciate the effort in diving for it, but you can't let that ball get behind you. Two runs scored on that play with two outs, which ended up being the final margin of victory for the Royals.
All nine runs for the Royals came with two outs. That hurts my brain just to type that. That start also probably knocks Archer out of the running to start the All-Star game. He didn't pitch great, but certainly didn't pitch as poorly as it may look on paper.
As far as the Rays offense goes, it has to sting tremendously to pick up fourteen hits and seven runs and lose the game. They had the bases loaded twice (once with no outs) and came away with just one run. Logan Forsythe added an inside the park home run, aided by Alex Gordon collapsing in left field with an apparent groin injury. They tried to make it interesting in the ninth with Rivera hitting a homer and Evan Longoria adding a two run single. A single by James Loney and a wild pitch by Greg Holland moved the tying run to second base, but pinch hitter Grady Sizemore struck out to end the game.
As always it's been a frustrating series in Kansas City. Eighteen of the Twenty-Five runs the Royals scored so far have come with two outs. Hopefully Nate Karns can keep up his recent run of stellar performances and shut down the hot Royals lineup.