ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Chris Archer is young, confident and also unbeaten against the Yankees. Just don't suggest the Tampa Bay rookie pitcher might have New York's number.
``Don't want to go there,' manager Joe Maddon said Friday night after the Rays topped their AL East rivals 7-2, with Archer winning three times with a 1.23 ERA in three starts against the Yankees.
``We're not going to canonize the guy. We'll just let him keep pitching,' Maddon added. ``He's doing a great job. He's a young man and he's very focused; I want to keep him on this path. He looks good.'
Jose Lobaton homered and drove in four runs in support of Archer (7-5), a 24-year-old right-hander who won twice earlier this season at Yankee Stadium, including a two-hit shutout on July 27. He gave up four hits over seven innings this time.
Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist also went deep for Tampa Bay, hitting solo shots off Hiroki Kuroda (11-9), who tied a career high for homers allowed - the first given up by the Yankees starter in nearly two months.
The loss stopped a five-game winning streak for New York, which had won 10 of 12 to climb back into the AL playoff race.
``It's one game,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ``We've just come off playing extremely well. You have to turn the page and go win tomorrow.'
Archer, who also won in New York on June 23, yielded a run-scoring single to Alfonso Soriano in the first inning and Brett Gardner's triple and Robinson Cano's RBI grounder in the sixth. In three starts against the Yankees, he's allowed three runs, 12 hits and struck out 14 in 22 innings.
``The defense was incredible. We made play after play, so I was just getting more comfortable out there. ... I really didn't feel like I could fail,' Archer said.
Alex Rodriguez, playing while appealing his 211-game suspension, was booed every time he came to the plate and went 0 for 4 with a strikeout for the Yankees. Eduardo Nunez had two of New York's four hits off Archer, including an infield single.
Archer walked two, hit a batter and struck out four to win for the first time since beating the Yankees 1-0 last month. Over his next four starts, he went 0-2 with a 4.79 ERA.
Before the game, the Rays honored Mariano Rivera, who's making his last regular-season visit to Tropicana Field, by unveiling a sand sculpture of the Yankees closer near the main entrance of the domed stadium. The team also presented him with check for $3,150 for the Mariano Rivera Foundation - $50 for each save he's earned against Tampa Bay during his career.
Meanwhile, newly acquired outfielder David DeJesus made his debut for the Rays, going 1 for 3, scoring a run and making a nice running catch up against the wall in left field. Tampa Bay obtained him from Washington earlier in the day for a player to be named or cash.
``That's why we picked him up,' Archer said. ``He's a great defensive player and a clutch hitter.'
Lobaton's three-run, second-inning homer off the right field foul pole was the first off Kuroda since June 30, when the 38-year-old right-hander gave up three in a loss at Baltimore. Longoria and Joyce homered in the third for a 5-1 lead. Lobaton added a RBI single in the fourth and Zobrist homered in the fifth to make it 7-1.
``When you get in a hole like that, it's tough to get back out of it, especially when somebody is throwing the ball as well as Archer,' Gardner said. ``It just wasn't our day.'
Kuroda allowed a season-high seven runs over six innings. He also matched a season high by yielding nine hits.
``It was really strange,' Girardi said. ``He just didn't have his stuff tonight.'
NOTES: Girardi said SS Derek Jeter (strained right calf) will continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre through at least Saturday. ... With rookie RF Wil Myers getting a night off, Matt Joyce moved to right field and DeJesus was inserted into Tampa Bay's lineup in left field. To make room on the roster for the 33-year-old DeJesus, the Rays designated OF Jason Bourgeois for assignment. ... New York 1B Lyle Overbay was out of the lineup due to flulike symptoms.
The Associated Press News Service
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