by Alan Spector

Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer, who came into Friday night's game against Boston with an August record of 2-0 and an ERA of 1.99, got roughed up early as the Rays lost, 8-4, at Tropicana Field.

Archer surrendered all eight runs in the first two innings as the Red Sox batted around in each inning and capped off the scoring with rookie Mookie Betts' first career grand slam.

"This game has a funny way of humbling you, and tonight was a very humbling experience," said Archer.  "I'm disappointed in myself because I am capable of much, more than that."

Poor defense by the Rays did not help Archer, who made an error himself, and shortstop Yuniel Escobar made a wild double-play relay that would have ended the second inning long before Betts' grand slam.

The loss left Tampa Bay with a record of 65-70.  The Rays are 13 games out of first place in the American League East and nine games out of the AL's second wild-card.

"We need to straighten this out rather quickly," said manager Joe Maddon.  "This was not a good game tonight.  We did not play well."

In other state sports news...

  • Justin Upton's two-run homer and three RBIs helped the Braves to a 5-2 win over the Marlins at Atlanta Friday night.  Miami dropped to 65-68, six games back of St. Louis for the second wild-card slot in the National League.
  • Quarterback Blake Bortles, who starred at Oviedo High School before going on to play for UCF and the Jacksonville Jaguars, was on hand for the Lions' home opener Friday night.  Bortles was honored at halftime as his #9 jersey was retired and he was inducted into the school's hall of fame.  Said Bortles, "It's definitely an honor.  I'm proud to be from Oviedo, and I come back whenever I get the chance."
  • The Buccaneers will open the NFL season with a rookie placekicker.  On Friday, Tampa Bay cut veteran Connor Barth, who was with the Bucs from 2009-2012 before a torn Achilles tendon knocked him out of action all last season.  That means the kicking job goes to Patrick Murray, an undrafted free agent out of Fordham, where he was an All-American.