"I got used to the umpire and the whole spectrum of the backstop and the fans," Archer said. "Having the world champions in the box, essentially, helped the whole process overall. I was able to focus on each individual pitch regardless of the situation. I was happy overall with the outing."
Archer's lone strikeout was a backdoor slider against David Ortiz.
"I was happy," said Archer. "I'm a big person on visualization. I visualized that pitch. I do it out in the bullpen, but nothing is like executing it in a game to one of the best hitters of all-time."
Clay Buchholz wasn't quite as sharp for Boston in his first start, giving up three hits, one run and one walk in an inning of work.
"First-game jitters," said Buchholz. "Velocity is creeping back up to where I need it to be. No problems throughout the whole thing. A couple pitches were spinning off, and that's all mechanical, so that's an easy fix. I just have to work on it."
Rays first baseman James Loney had the big hit in a three-run second inning, drilling a two-run homer to right off Rubby De La Rosa.
In a quiet day for Boston's regulars, as Mike Napoli had a walk and a hit, while Jonny Gomes and Will Middlebrooks each had a hit. Outfield prospect Alex Hassan went 2-for-3.
David DeJesus had a solid day for the Rays in the leadoff spot, going 2-for-2 with a walk and scoring a pair of runs. Matt Joyce and Jose Molina added multihit games.
Former closer Francisco Cordero, who is on the comeback trail, fired a scoreless inning for Boston, striking out two.
Up next:Cesar Ramos, recently elevated into the battle for the fifth-starter's slot, will make his first start of the spring Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Yankees. Fellow candidates Erik Bedard and Jake Odorizzi will also pitch against New York, and fans can listen to an exclusive webcast of the action at raysbaseball.com.