Chris Archer dazzled the stat sheet with 11 strikeouts against the Red Sox on Friday, but John Lackey was just as good against the Rays’ offense.
Lackey was much more efficient than Archer on the night, throwing 108 pitches, 65 of them for strikes, in seven strong innings of shutout baseball.
He left the game in the eighth with the score tied 0-0. His final line was 7+ innings, allowing no runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Lackey allowed two hits in the first inning that had the Rays threatening early, but was surgical the rest of the way. After Evan Longoria singled with two outs in the bottom of the third, Lackey went on a stretch where he retired eight Tampa Bay batters in a row.
His next trouble didn’t come until the bottom of the sixth, when Longoria singled and Matt Joyce walked to put two on with one out, but Lackey got out of the jam again.
Another test – in the seventh inning – saw Desmond Jennings reach on an error by Brock Holt. Jennings got to second and then third on consecutive outs, but he was stranded 90 feet from home as Ryan Hanigan grounded out to first base.
Lackey came back out for the eighth inning at 103 pitches, but lasted only one batter after allowing a single to David DeJesus after five pitches before John Farrell went to the bullpen. Longoria grounded into a fielder’s choice that eliminated DeJesus and closed the book on Lackey.
Neither offense could do anything for their starting pitchers, as the game headed into the final frame still tied 0-0, with the Rays winning 1-0 on a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth.