BALTIMORE (AP) — On a night when the Tampa Bay Rays again found it difficult to score, the most surprising aspect of their latest loss was the performance of the usually reliable Chris Archer.
The Rays mustered only six hits, and Archer had the worst outing of his big league career Monday in a 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles.
The seven runs and 12 hits that Archer (1-1) allowed were both career highs. After lasting only five innings in his 30th start in the majors, his ERA rose from 1.38 to 4.50.
"I actually felt good about how my stuff was," Archer said. "I just made too many mistakes — and that's a good lineup."
The performance came less than two weeks after the Rays gave the right-hander a six-year contract that guarantees him $25.5 million.
"If there is anything to take away from this game, I think it's how positive and encouraging my teammates were," Archer said. "They fully believe in me, and when I came out they all said, 'In five days, you're going to make somebody pay.'"
Archer was outdone by Wei-Yin Chen (2-1), who gave up one run and five hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Chen was facing a Tampa Bay team that has been struggling at the plate. The Rays have scored only 14 runs in their last eight games and have tallied three runs or fewer in seven of the last eight.
"We did hit some balls well. Our geometry is really bad right now. We're hitting balls at people," manager Joe Maddon said. "We just have to keep going up there and battling through it. It's just one of those bad periods."
Tampa Bay's only run came in the sixth inning when Ben Zobrist walked and scored on a single by Evan Longoria.
The outcome, however, was decided long before that.
Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy each had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run for the Orioles, who were coming off a three-game series against Toronto in which they scored only five runs in 30 innings.
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