photo credit: J. Meric / Getty Images
by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
Chris Archer threw seven strong innings, and Jose Lobaton homered and drove in four to help the Tampa Bay Rays defeat the New York Yankees in the first of their three-game series 7-2.
New York initially got on the board as Archer walked Brett Gardner to start the game, who then stole second base, moved to third on a flyout by Curtis Granderson, and scored on a base hit by Alfonso Soriano.
Tampa Bay grabbed the lead in the second inning, as Matt Joyce led off with a single against Hiroki Kuroda, and moved to second two batters later on a single by Kelly Johnson. David DeJesus flew out for the second out of the inning, but Lobaton then blasted a shot off the foul pole in right for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead.
Evan Longoria and Joyce would get into the act an inning later, hitting back-to-back two-out solo homers off Kuroda to extend the lead to 5-1.
Lobaton added an RBI single in the fourth to make it 6-1, and Ben Zobrist led off the fifth with his 10th home run of the year, a solo shot to make it 7-1.
New York got one run back in the sixth, as Gardner tripled to lead off the inning, and scored two batters later on a groundout by Robinson Cano.
However, Archer (7-5) would not let the Yankees get any closer, and Jamey Wright and Roberto Hernandez, making his first relief appearance in exactly six years, each tossed a scoreless inning to slam the door shut.
Tampa Bay can take the series Saturday, as David Price (7-5, 3.29 ERA) takes on C.C. Sabathia (11-10, 4,83 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with pregame coverage starting at 6:30. Saturday's game will air on 1250 WHNZ and 98 Rock due to the Buccaneers game.