Exhausted Rays silenced by Tribe's Jimenez
Archer allows five runs in four-plus as Indians righty holds TB scoreless
CLEVELAND -- There weren't enough hours in the day for the Rays on Saturday.
Ubaldo Jimenez fired the first pitch of Saturday's tilt exactly 10 hours and 13 minutes after the final out of Friday night's damp, demanding contest. By the time the Indians wrapped a bow on the matinee, the Rays had snoozed through a 5-0 defeat at Progressive Field.
Manager Joe Maddon couldn't fault his players, though. Mere hours after four Tampa Bay hurlers held the Indians to one hit in a 9-2 win, the Rays mustered only four knocks against Tribe pitching.
"Our guys were legitimately tired today, and I don't blame them," said Maddon, who added that he planned on ordering room service, reading a book and promptly going to sleep immediately after the game. "I really respected their effort today. It's a tough day to come back and play this game. We'll get a good night's sleep and come back tomorrow."
Chris Archer had plenty of sleep prior to his season debut. The right-hander said he went to bed before 11 p.m. on Friday night.
Facing the team that drafted him seven years ago, Archer surrendered five runs on seven hits in four-plus innings in his season debut. The Indians selected the right-hander in the fifth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. His last visit to the Indians' ballpark came that summer, when, at the age of 17, he penned his signature on his first pro contract.
In the second, Archer served up a two-run homer to 42-year-old Jason Giambi, who was wrapping up high school when Archer was born in 1988. Giambi struck again in the third with a two-out, run-scoring single. Asdrubal Cabrera tacked on the Tribe's final two runs with a homer to right field in the fifth. Archer exited one batter later.
"My fastball command wasn't really there as consistently as I would've liked it," Archer said. "If you fall behind a good-hitting team and then leave pitches up, you're going to get banged. A good-hitting team got me on a day when I was a little off."
The Rays entered Saturday's affair leading the Majors in runs per game since April 17. Against Jimenez, however, they never placed more than one runner on base in any inning. On two occasions, they pushed a runner to second, but neither player advanced any further.
Maddon chalked up the dormant offense to some tired lumber.
"He pitched primarily offspeed today, and we were chasing out of the zone," Maddon said. "I think you have a tendency to chase more when you're tired."
Ryan Roberts reached second on a fielder's choice and an error in the second inning, but Jose Molina whiffed to end the frame. Desmond Jennings stroked a one-out double in the seventh, but Luke Scott struck out and Roberts flied out to dissipate the threat.
"On a day where the only two people probably out there [who] weren't tired were the two starting pitchers," said Indians manager Terry Francona, "[Jimenez] gave us every bit what we needed, put zeros up, pounded the zone with everything. Really terrific job."
For the second straight day -- or, technically, the second time in one day -- the Rays' long men saved Maddon from having to overwork his late-inning relievers. In Friday's contest, Jamey Wright and Cesar Ramos tossed three frames apiece. On Saturday, Alex Torres, who flew into Cleveland from Raleigh-Durham in the morning, pieced together four scoreless innings.
Torres learned he was being promoted to the big league squad at about 3 a.m. ET on Saturday. He arrived at the airport in North Carolina around 5 a.m. after 90 minutes of sleep.
Still, Torres, who said he was fueled by a steady dose of Red Bull, was not to be deterred on the mound.
"After I cross that line, I'm focused on the game and I tried to give the bullpen some rest," Torres said. "I think I did that for them right there."
The Rays should be near full strength when they get to the ballpark for Sunday's rubber match. Saturday's loss snapped the team's six-game winning streak, though Maddon wasn't about to chide his players for falling short.
"We were on a nice run up until today," Maddon said. "Twenty-four hours in a day kind of got us."