Archer off to strong start for Rays in win

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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.

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Rays: 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.”

Red Sox: Buchholz missed four months last season with neck and shoulder problems. He struggled in his Game 4 start in the World Series.

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