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Archer's Classic gem stirs pride among Rays

Righty tosses 4 perfect innings to set up Team USA's walk-off thriller in 10th
MLB.com @wwchastain

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Chris Archer dominated in his first start for Team USA on Friday night in its 3-2, 10-inning win over Colombia in the World Baseball Classic.

Archer faced 12 batters and retired all on just 41 pitches, leaving him well under the 65-pitch limit for first-round games.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Chris Archer dominated in his first start for Team USA on Friday night in its 3-2, 10-inning win over Colombia in the World Baseball Classic.

Archer faced 12 batters and retired all on just 41 pitches, leaving him well under the 65-pitch limit for first-round games.

Archer perfect in World Baseball Classic debut

The Rays right-hander impressed his teammates to say the least.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

"He looked really good," Kevin Kiermaier said. "He's impressed me for the past three years. He's an uncomfortable at-bat. I really liked what he did with his mechanics, where his hands start, and that little pause to gather himself and get his momentum going to homeplate. It looks very clean and efficient right now. Hopefully we'll see a bunch of that this year. ... He put on a show, and that was a great game to watch."

Rickie Weeks Jr. said of the outing, "Typical Archer."

"The best thing I saw from him, he kept everything down," Weeks said. "Down, down. When you throw 95-plus [mph] and you're keeping the ball down like that, it's real hard to lay off that slider.

"Just all in all, with eveything going on, he pitched great. You have nerves, all the spectacle stuff going on as well. Good job overall by him."

Video: Archer joins Morosi to discuss Team USA's victory

Evan Longoria watched, despite having to fight an erratic TV signal.

"As effective as I've seen him be in a long time," Longoria said. "Four innings, 40 pitches. Looked crisp. Slider looked good. I was excited for him. ... He looked ready to go. It was a great game to watch. It was fun watching Archer. He looked competitive, and that's the guy we're looking forward to seeing this year."

Tweet from @RaysBaseball: #ForGlory pic.twitter.com/zE1Wq0pjFR

Rays manager Kevin Cash called watching Archer "exciting."

"I texted back and forth with him," Cash said. "Must have been an incredible experience for him. He goes out and basically shoves for four innings. It was fun to watch. It was great for him, great for the Rays, great for Team USA."

Even more fun knowing he's on your team?

"That's exactly right," Cash said. "Had to have been a special day for him. ... Hopefully he can maintain that efficiency for as many starts as possible."

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

United States, Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer