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Archer hit hard on birthday; Jays beat Rays 10-8

September 26, 2015

TORONTO (AP) — For the second straight year, Tampa Bay pitcher Chris Archer doesn’t have much to celebrate on his birthday.

Jose Bautista hit two home runs, David Price won for the ninth time in 11 starts with Toronto and the playoff-bound Blue Jays beat Archer and the Rays 10-8 on Saturday.

An anticipated pitcher’s duel between Archer and Price, his former teammate and mentor, turned into a sloppy slugfest. Toronto’s three errors matched a season high.

“When you look at their body of work over the course of the year, they don’t have many games like this,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I don’t think anybody would have thought there were going to be 18 runs scored in a game that featured Archer and Price.”

Pitching on his 27th birthday, Archer (12-13) matched a season high by giving up nine runs in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since a May 7 loss to Texas. Archer has lost his past three decisions.

“It wasn’t my day by any means,” a subdued Archer said.

On his birthday last year, Archer lost to Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians in his final start of the season. Archer allowed just three hits that day, but one was a decisive homer by Indians shortstop Jose Ramirez.

Archer was nowhere near as sharp against Toronto. He matched a season high by walking five, the second straight start he’s walked that many.

“I didn’t have my normal fastball command, my slider wasn’t as crisp as it has been in the past,” Archer said. “And when I had opportunities to put guys away, I didn’t.”

Bautista hit a three-run homer, and Russell Martin added a two-run drive in a five-run first inning.

Bautista made it 10-5 with a solo shot off Kirby Yates in the eighth. It was the fifth multihomer game of the season for Bautista, whose homers were his 38th and 39th.

Kevin Pillar and Ben Revere each had three hits as the Blue Jays won for the sixth time in their past eight meetings with the Rays.

Price (18-5) allowed five runs — four earned — in five innings. It was the most runs the left-hander had allowed since giving up five in a July 28 loss to the Rays, his final start with Detroit before being traded to Toronto.

“My last two starts against these guys haven’t gone the way I wanted them to,” Price said. “If I’m going to give up five, I want it to be on a day where we score 10, so that was good.”

Despite the difficult outing, Price maintained his AL ERA lead at 2.45.

The Blue Jays wasted no time jumping on Archer, who came in 3-1 with a 0.93 ERA in four starts against Toronto this season. Revere led off with a single, Josh Donaldson walked and Bautista followed with a drive that just cleared the left field wall.

Three batters later, Martin made it 5-0 with his career-best 22nd homer.

Tampa Bay closed the gap with a four-run third, but the Blue Jays answered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning.

Kiermaier hit a solo drive to center off Price in the fourth, his 10th, to make it 7-5, but the Blue Jays chased Archer in the bottom half.

A fielding error by Darwin Barney and back-to-back RBI singles by pinch-hitters Grady Sizemore and John Jaso cut it to 10-8 in the ninth, but Roberto Osuna got the final two outs for his 19th save, finishing it off by getting Evan Longoria to ground into a fielder’s choice.

HUG IT OUT

While running on the warning track before the game, Price and Archer shared a warm embrace in center.

UNHAPPY BIRTHDAY

Archer is the first AL pitcher to allow nine-or-more runs on his birthday since Hollis ‘Sloppy’ Thurston of the Chicago White Sox in a 16-15 loss at Detroit on June 2, 1925.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Longoria started at DH, with Richie Shaffer at 3B. ... LHP Jake McGee (left knee) was activated off the 15-day DL. McGee has been out since Aug. 18.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Matt Andriese (3-5, 4.37 ERA) makes his first big league start since July 7. Andriese allowed three homers in 5 1-3 innings in a home loss to Toronto on June 22.

Blue Jays: LHP Mark Buehrle (14-7, 3.69 ERA) will have had six days of rest since his previous start, Sept. 20 against Boston. Buehrle had a cortisone shot in his sore shoulder earlier this month.

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