"Today's the best I've felt all spring," said Archer, who has made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the Rays. "I was able to face a really good team, get a lot of outs and get outs in ways I typically wouldn't. Lot of changeups, got a lot of good feedback. Not all of them were strikes, but high-quality pitches. Just mixed it up really well and I feel really good about where I'm at personally in Spring Training."
The changeup was the pitch Archer said he was most pleased with against Boston.
"I threw a lot [of changeups] to righties today," Archer said. "On the scoreboard a lot of times, it's reading as sliders. But it's a good thing -- it means it has depth and it's hard to identify."
Archer also threw a handful of sliders that produced positive results.
"I got some swing-and-miss," he said. "I got the reassurance that I needed, and I said, 'I'm moving on from this pitch. I'm not going to force it, and I'm going to do other things.' And I was able to get outs with other pitches, or weak contact, a desired result."
After a flawless debut against the Twins on Feb. 25, in which he struck out four in two innings and did not allow a hit, Archer followed that up by allowing a hit, a walk and a run to the Phillies on Friday.
Archer struggled at times against a potent Red Sox lineup that included slugger J.D. Martinez, who doubled and singled, driving in one of two runs that Archer yielded. The righty was extended to three innings, throwing 47 pitches (28 strikes), giving up five hits and one walk. He struck out one and said he could have gone longer.
"You know, [manager Kevin Cash] is already starting pulling me early," Archer said with a smile. "I begged him to stay in there because I was feeling good. Actually, the third inning I felt the strongest."