NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer came within two outs of a complete game, holding the Detroit Tigers to six hits in the Rays’ 7-2 victory Saturday.
The Rays broke the game open with three runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth, and the Tigers never mounted much of a rally against Archer (5-5). The 25-year-old right-hander allowed solo homers to Alex Avila in the seventh and J.D. Martinez in the ninth.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon finally pulled him with two on and one out in the ninth after 106 pitches.
Anibal Sanchez (5-3) took a no-hitter into the fifth, but things unraveled quickly for the Detroit right-hander. He allowed seven runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, with four walks and a strikeout.
Logan Forsythe homered for Tampa Bay.
Archer struck out four and walked four, and he helped himself with two marvelous defensive plays. In the sixth, he snagged a comebacker by Martinez and threw to first for the out, and in the eighth, Archer fell to the ground while backhanding Austin Jackson’s line drive up the middle.
Kevin Kiermaier had three hits for Tampa Bay, including triples in the fifth and sixth. The Rays have won seven of eight.
The Tigers were without designated hitter Victor Martinez, who left Friday night’s game because of back irritation.
Sanchez didn’t allow a hit until Forsythe’s drive carried over the fence in left-center field with one out in the fifth. The Rays poured it on after that.
After a walk to Ryan Hanigan, Kiermaier’s drive bounced off the wall and past J.D. Martinez in right, enabling Hanigan to score. With the infield in, Desmond Jennings lined a single to make it 3-0.
Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria singled to start the sixth, and after a walk to James Loney loaded the bases, Brandon Guyer brought another run home with a sacrifice fly. Forsythe’s RBI single made it 5-0, and Kiermaier’s two-out, two-run triple off reliever Phil Coke capped the rally.
Archer appeared headed for his third career complete game, but he allowed a homer, a single and a walk in the ninth. Grant Balfour came on and struck out the final two batters in a non-save situation.
NOTES: Detroit reliever Patrick McCoy left the game in the ninth with a right hamstring strain. … Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (11-4) faces Tampa Bay ace David Price (7-7) on Sunday night.
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