TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.
"He gave us more than enough of an opportunity to win," manager Kevin Cash said. "He's had a handful of games where he's looked like he did tonight. He was dominant. You take one batter of the lineup he kind of had his way with some good hitters."
Donaldson came with a cold history against Archer (4-for-29 with 11 strikeouts) but on a sizzling streak (nine homers in his last 18 games) and stayed hot.
"I didn't execute a couple pitches and he took advantage," Archer said. "We haven't seen a hitter that hot in a while."
On his way to working seven innings with three runs on five hits, no walks and 10 strikeouts, Archer reached a milestone, joined RHP James Shields (1,250) and LHP David Price (1,065) as pitchers in four digits with the Rays. And he got there in fewer innings, logging No. 1,000 at 929 innings, Price at 1,082 and Shields at 1,1852/3.
"Right now in this moment, it's irrelevant," Archer said. "Might feel a little better about it when we get back to Tampa or tomorrow."
Chart of the day
Archer reached 1,000 strikeouts in his 154th game, the ninth pitcher to do so in that many or less:
Kerry Wood 134
Tim Lincecum 136
Roger Clemens 143
Stephen Strasburg 144
Dwight Gooden 145
Hideo Nomo 147
Corey Kluber 148
Randy Johnson 152
Medical matters: Kiermaier likely tonight
CF Kevin Kiermaier (hip, back) went 0-for-4 playing for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs in Jupiter on Thursday and if there are no issues will rejoin the Rays tonight. "We're hoping all goes well," Cash said Thursday afternoon. "He's very, very close." Expect OF Mallex Smith to be optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room. … RHP Alex Cobb (turf toe) is slated to throw off the mound again Saturday at the Trop and all goes well will rejoin the rotation next week, potentially as soon as Tuesday. … RHP Matt Andriese (hip) starts for the Crabs tonight in the second of three scheduled rehab outings.
Quote of the day
"It was a good one to hit out. I put him in a good position to hit, and he did it."
— RHP Tommy Hunter, on giving up the game-deciding two-run homer to Justin Smoak in the eighth.
Despite the bevy of trades between the teams, the Mariners come to the Trop tonight with only one ex-Ray on their active roster, starter RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who was traded back July 28 for reliever Steve Cishek. Cash said there wasn't a chance for "proper goodbyes," and he is looking forward to thanking Ramirez for his 2½ years of service. "Could not be more appreciative of the way Erasmo carried himself in the variety of roles that we asked him to do," Cash said. "You just don't see that all the time, and he bought in in every single way. He always put the team first and he always was available to pitch and that says a lot about the guy."
About Wednesday night ...
There were several telling moments from Wednesday's frustrating 3-2 loss, perhaps none more so than 3B Evan Longoria's uncharacteristic show of emotion after being called out on strikes with bases loaded in the seventh on a pitch he was certain was outside. As a brooksbaseball.net graphic showed, Longoria had a point with the seventh pitch, clearly off the plate, though not enough to consider it an egregiously bad call by Lance Barksdale. "I was fairly confident that it was a ball, I went back and looked at it (on video) and it was a ball," Longoria said. "It was a mistake. I'm not going to blow it out of proportion, it's just a little frustrating. You had a chance to tie the game there I felt like I made a good take and it was called a strike."
Number of the day
45Runners left on base by Rays in the four-game series
• 1B/DH Logan Morrison will be honored pregame tonight as the Rays winner of the Heart and Hustle award given by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, with 1B coach Rocco Baldelli presenting.
• After strutting around in having a big series in the Mariners' June 2-4 sweep of the Rays in Seattle, ex-Rays INF/OF Taylor Motter won't make the return trip, having been sent down to Triple A in late July with a .204 average.
• Rookie RHP Austin Pruitt has impressed by looking cool and calm on the mound, but acknowledged in advance of tonight's start that may not be a true depiction: "I guess that's just an act I'm trying to do; inside I'm kind of freaking out a little bit."