NEW YORK — Chris Archer got off to another rough start Wednesday, and the Rays headed home after another tough loss, 3-2 to the Yankees.
Archer allowed three runs in a bad second inning, and the Rays were unable to do much about it against Yankees starter Jaime Garcia and four relievers.
The loss dropped the Rays to 72-75 as they came into play four games — and five teams — from the second American League wild-card they co-held just a month ago, and now have only 15 games left to make up that ground.
Archer lasted just one batter into the fifth inning, allowing the three runs, six hits and three walks in his second straight abbreviated and unsuccessful outing since walking off the mound in Chicago Sept. 2 after eight pitches (and two home runs) with forearm tightness.
An exam showed no structural damage and Archer insisted he was fine to keep pitching and took his regular turn Friday in Chicago, but that didn't go well, either, as he didn't make it out of the fourth.
So over his last three starts, Archer has allowed 22 of the last 43 batters faced to reach, with 15 hits.
Kevin Kiermaier delivered the Rays' first run, with a homer in the third.
It took a while, after wasting chances in the first and second, having a replay reversal hurt them in the fourth and seeing a couple balls hit hard into outs, such as by Corey Dickerson in the seventh, but they added on in the eighth.
Evan Longoria singled with one out off Dellin Betances, then Steven Souza Jr. drew a two-out walk from Aroldis Chapman and Adeiny Hechavarria, who has been hot, singled in the run. Pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos struck out to end the inning.
The Rays eagerly headed home after the game, their planned weekend roadtrip to Boston extended as the series against the Yankees was relocated from Tropicana Field to the Mets' Citi Field due to the impact of Hurricane Irma.
Acknowledging it was hardly a neutral site, the Rays raved about how at home the Mets staff made them feel, and the quality of the facilities overall. With tickets priced at $25, the three games drew a total of 49,510 fans.
The Rays got final approval on Wednesday to return to the Trop and resume their home schedule, hosting the Red Sox for a three-game series that will open as planned Friday night, with Matt Andriese taking on Boston ace Chris Sale, the Lakleland-born lefty.
Marc Topkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ TBTimes_Rays.