ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Chris Archer made one mistake and the Rays never could recover.
Daniel Nava hit it for a home run in the third inning and the Red Sox went on to win, 2-1, their second victory of the three-game series.
``I was trying to throw a back-door slider, trying to throw it outside,' said Archer, a rookie making his third start of the season. ``It was a decent pitch, but it was a pitch that he could hit. He dropped the head on it . . . leading up to that was a 10- or 11-pitch at bat. So he was in control of the at bat and I had to come to him. I left it in a spot where he could hit it.'
Nava put the Red Sox up 2-0 with the two-run homer off Archer, who gave up two runs, four hits, four walks and struck out seven over four innings. The Rays right-hander left the mound exuberantly after striking out Nava with the bases loaded to end the fourth on his 103rd pitch. His antics drew some long stares from the Red Sox.
``I probably had a little too much (emotion), but I was just competing,' Archer acknowledged. ``I wasn't holding anything back. I just did what was natural. I was pretty amped.
``The thing is, when I do that, it's not towards the other team. If I make a good pitch, I get excited for my team,' he said. ``They may have taken it the wrong way, but in no way was it directed toward anybody on the other team.'
Nava drove in the go-ahead runs in both of Boston's victories of the series.
``He was into the game just as we were into the game,' Nava said of Archer (1-2). ``I just saw him jump up and down after that. Obviously it was just emotional. He's just out there competing, wanting to win. I get that. It threw me off guard, that's all.'
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he didn't see Archer's action or the response of the Red Sox.
``Emotion is always good, it's just how you channel it,' Maddon said. ``I'm fine with emotion. I have no problem with that, but do it with respect.'
Alfredo Aceves (3-1), recalled before the game from Triple-A Pawtucket, allowed one run, four hits and four walks.
Evan Longoria got the Rays within 2-1 on a solo homer in the sixth. He has gone deep in three consecutive games after homering just once over his previous 26.
Andrew Bailey, the fourth Boston reliever, pitched the ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunties. After Craig Breslow allowed a two-out double in the eighth Kelly Johnson, Koji Uehara entered and struck out Longoria.
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single and scored on Nava's two-out shot in the third.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases by drawing three walks from Aceves in the second, but failed to score when Yunel Escobar hit an inning-ending grounder.
Aceves worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the third by striking out Johnson and getting a double-play grounder by Longoria.
It was Boston's seventh win in nine games against the Rays, who fell five game behind.
``They did a nice job against us because we've been scoring a lot of runs, too,' Maddon said. ``They've gotten us this year in a lot of close games and we have to figure out a way to beat `em.'
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz played catch for the first time since leaving his start last Saturday with neck stiffness. He might return to the rotation Sunday or Tuesday. ... Rays LHP David Price, on the 15-day disabled list since May 16 with a left triceps strain, will throw in a simulated game Thursday. ... The Red Sox optioned RHP Jose De La Torre to Pawtucket. ... Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy threw the ceremonial first pitch. He was first scheduled to do it May 25, but was delayed that day getting to the ballpark due to a minor vehicle accident in which no one was injured.
The Associated Press News Service
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