CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Archer felt tightness in his forearm during his pregame session in the bullpen. He thought it would diminish after he warmed up, but the feeling lingered and prompted an early exit against the Chicago White Sox.
Archer gave up home runs to the first two batters of the game, then left due to the injury and the White Sox beat the Rays, 5-4, on Saturday night.
“Every time I tried to get to full extension, I couldn’t get there,” Archer said. “It just felt like it was smarter to not risk any further injury trying to force myself through some tightness in my arm.”
Archer said he’s encouraged because the affected area involves just muscle. He’ll see how he feels Sunday and whether he can make his next start. He said he had a similar issue with a cramp in 2013 and missed no time.
“We’re cautiously optimistic there’s real no issue,” manager Kevin Cash said.
Alen Hanson hit his fourth home run on Archer’s second pitch of the game, and Yolmer Sanchez followed with his ninth homer to help the White Sox snap a four-game losing streak.
Archer (9-8) threw just eight pitches, three for strikes, before Cash and trainer Ron Porterfield checked on him and he left as a precaution.
“It’s not pain, it’s tight and didn’t allow me to get to full extension,” Archer said. “That’s what leads to more serious injuries, when you’re trying to alter your delivery and I knew from those first eight pitches I threw, I couldn’t get anything down in the zone.”
Logan Morrison hit his sixth home run in six games and 35th of the season in the sixth for the Rays, who are four games out of the second AL wild-card spot and were unable to climb above .500 for the first time since 59-58 on Aug. 11.
The White Sox had four home runs, including Avisail Garcia’s career-high 14th of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh, and Omar Narvaez’s solo shot.
Archer became the third pitcher in Rays history to allow home runs to the first two batters in a game.
Austin Pruitt replaced Archer, whose 225 strikeouts rank second in the AL and third in the majors behind Boston’s Chris Sale (264) and Washington’s Max Scherzer (230). Archer is second in the league with 179 1/3 innings pitched and he leads the majors with 151 starts since June 1, 2013.
Carson Fulmer (1-1) allowed one run in two innings for his first major league victory.
“It means a lot,” Fulmer said. “Obviously it’s a goal of mine, but it’s a team victory when it comes down to it.”
Juan Minaya hit a batter and allowed two singles before a run scored on a double play in the ninth. He struck out Morrison to earn his fourth save in five chances.
Rain delayed the game in the fourth inning for 1 hour, 18 minutes, knocking Pruitt and White Sox starter Carlos Rodon out of the game. Rodon allowed a run in four innings, and Pruitt gave up one run in 3 2/3 innings.
“Austin did a really good job,” Cash said. “The good thing is he just made a start with us five days ago, so this was actually his start day, so he had plenty of pitches.”
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
The White Sox hit back-to-back home runs to begin a game for just the third time in team history. The other times were in 1937 and 2000.
“I feel I got more power,” Sanchez said. “I’ve been feeling really good at the plate.”
Garcia and Sanchez had three hits apiece.
Rays: RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge are expected to be recalled Sunday from Triple-A Durham to help the bullpen.
White Sox: 1B Jose Abreu (sore right elbow) missed a third straight game. He felt some discomfort hitting in the cage, but will possibly return Sunday, manager Rick Renteria said. . OF Leury Garcia (sprained right thumb) went on the 10-day disabled list. An MRI showed a ligament aggravation. He was injured while falling on steps and trying to brace himself at Minnesota, Renteria said. . OF Rymer Liriano’s contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte.
Rays RHP Matt Andriese (5-1, 3.38 ERA) will make his first start since June 10 while RHP Lucas Giolito (1-1, 2.77) will take the mound for Chicago in the series finale. Andriese (right hip stress reaction) was reinstated from the 60-day DL on Monday and threw three scoreless innings in relief against Kansas City. Giolito pitched seven shutout innings against Detroit to earn his first big league victory in his last start.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.