PHOENIX — RHP Chris Archer pulled of a rare double feat when he became only the third pitcher since rookie of the month was added in 2001 to the monthly awards to win pitcher and rookie of the month.
“The accolades are an honor,” Archer tweeted Monday. “I know that I couldn’t have accomplished any of it without a great team & a great support system. THANK YOU!”
Archer joins RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who was named pitcher and rookie of the month in May 2011, as the only Rays to take home both awards. The other pitcher was Florida’s Dontrelle Willis, who won the National League honors in June 2003.
Archer was 4-0 with a 0.73 ERA and two shutouts in five starts last month. He struck out 22 and walked seven in 37 innings. He led all rookie pitchers with a minimum of 27 innings pitched in ERA and opponent’s batting average (.140).
His ERA was the lowest ever by a rookie in the month of July.
Ryan Braun (July 2007), Mike Trout (July 2012) and Yasiel Puig (June 2013) are the only position players to win player and rookie of the month in the same month.
According to Elias, since 1920 only three rookie pitchers have registered a monthly ERA lower than Archer’s 0.73 for July: Cincinnati’s Junior Thompson (0.72 in September 1939), Boston’s Dave Ferriss (0.45 in May 1945) and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela (0.20 in April 1981).
Archer ranked third in the majors last month with 6.57 base runners per 9.0 innings pitched, behind Clayton Kershaw (5.55) of the Dodgers and the Rays’ David Price (6.33)
Price and Matt Moore also received votes for AL pitcher of the month. RF Wil Myers received votes for both AL player and rookie of the month.
Jennings to DL
The Rays placed center fielder Desmond Jennings on the 15-day disabled list late Monday night and recalled outfielder Jason Bourgeois from Triple A Durham.
Jennings sustained a small fracture on his left middle finger during Saturday’s night’s victory against the Giants.
Outfielder Sam Fuld, Jennings’s backup in center field this season, will likely take over the position until Jennings returns.
What a hit
3B Evan Longoria, who on Saturday told hitting coach Derek Shelton he had hit “rock bottom,” ended an 0-for-19 slide Sunday with a single.
“It felt like forever,” said Longoria, who kept the ball after his fifth-inning hit in the 4-3 win against the Giants.
“This is probably the worst that I’ve been in a long time,” he said. “I’ve gone through slumps before, but the swinging and missing was what was baffling me. It was definitely a tip of the cap to everybody and a really good feeling.”
Longoria actually tipped his cap to the sold-out house that cheered in the first inning after Longoria he lined out.
“It was two strikes, and I really haven’t been putting the ball in play at all, let alone (with) hard contact,” Longoria said. “That was good. I had probably an eight- or nine-pitch at-bat and eventually hit the ball on the barrel, which I really haven’t been doing and it really felt good. It was only one at-bat, but those are the kinds of things that can turn it around.”
The Rays are 12-3 in their past 15 one-run games after beginning the season 5-11. They were 21-27 in one-run games in 2012. ... LHP Alex Torres improved to 4-0 and has only allowed one run in 34ß innings this season. His 0.26 ERA is the lowest of any major league reliever with at least 20 IP. ... RHP Joel Peralta has pitched 10 straight scoreless appearances and leads the AL with 28 holds.