FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Chris Archer pitched two scoreless innings in his spring training debut, Jose Molina reached base three times and scored twice, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 8-0 Tuesday.
Archer, who finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting, allowed a hit and struck out one.
Molina, among the slowest players in baseball went 2 for 2, including a double, walked and drove in a run. He scored from first on David DeJesus’ triple in the second inning. The catcher scored two runs in a game just twice last season, the last time on July 5.
“Typically good,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Molina’s base running.” He didn’t break stride scoring from first, which was nice to see, and we definitely play in the right ballpark for that to occur. That can’t happen anywhere. So the people here today really should feel fortunate to see J-Mo score on a ball in the gap from first base. It’s equally as rare sometimes from second base.”
Molina doubled and scored from second on Hak-Ju Lee’s double to center field in the fifth inning.
Rays right fielder Matt Joyce went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz made his Grapefruit League debut for Boston, going one inning, giving up a run on three hits and a walk with one strikeout.
STARTING TIME: Archer, a right-hander has been working on adding a changeup to his repertoire this spring.
“It was exactly what I wanted. I threw them to lefties and righties,” Archer said. “They were down in the strike zone. One was a ball, but it was still where I wanted it, so overall, I think for Game 1, mission accomplished.”
Archer said, while warming up in the bullpen, he visualized throwing a backdoor slider to David Ortiz. He did so in the first inning for a called third strike to end the inning.
“Nothing is like executing it in the game to one of the best hitters of all time,” Archer said. “So it does get me excited.”
Maddon was pleased with Archer’s outing.
“He was really sharp with all of his stuff,” Maddon said. “Worked on some things. He was really good.”
Buchholz missed four months last season with neck and shoulder problems. He struggled in his Game 4 start in the World Series.
“I think more than anything it was good to see Clay back on the mound. He showed decent arm strength,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “A good starting point for him.”
FOR THE RECORD: Tampa Bay used seven pitchers, each of whom gave up just one hit, except for left-hander Mark Lowe, who followed Archer and allowed two hits.
David Ortiz is hitless in seven at-bats over three games, with one walk, one strikeout, one RBI and a run scored.
TRAINER’S ROOM: Red Sox Right-hander Jake Peavy, who cut his left index finger with a fishing knife on Saturday, threw long toss Tuesday and is expected to throw from a mound on Wednesday. He won’t catch, however. Someone else will catch for him.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski will get a couple of days off after rolling his left ankle in a game against the Pirates on Monday.
Catcher David Ross was scheduled to play Tuesday but was scratched because of inflammation in a tendon in his left foot. He had an MRI on Monday which revealed no structural issues and is scheduled to play Friday against the Braves.
Right-fielder Shane Victorino, who has been delayed after having surgery on his right thumb in December, took batting practice for the first time Tuesday. Farrell said Victorino came through it fine.
Right-hander Matt Barnes, one of the organization’s top prospects who last pitched Feb. 27 against Boston College, will get a couple more days off because of shoulder stiffness.
NOT SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa turned 25. He was roughed up in two innings, giving up four runs on five hits, including one homer, and two walks. He struck out one.
Minor league outfielder Jake Hager turned 21. He was called out on strikes in his only plate appearance.