- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Rangers' bumpy season took another bad step as the Rays picked up an easy 10-1 victory at Globe Life Park.
Rays starter Chris Archer struck out a career-high 12 while earning his 15th quality start of the season. It was a masterful performance by Archer -- and that’s not to say the Rangers weren’t trying, because they were. You just have to credit him.
Archer didn’t allow a hit until Leonys Martin’s leadoff double in the fifth, and the right-hander struck out six consecutive batters in the early innings.
It was just too easy and painful to watch.
Things were so bad that Rangers manager Ron Washington took reliever Nate Adcock out after three of the five hitters he faced reached base for Alex Claudio, who was called up when Darvish was placed on the DL, in the eighth inning.
The first two pitches of Claudio's major league career were for strikes. And he eventually struck out Kevin Kiermaier on a bender on the outside part of the plate for his first big league strikeout. When he finished the inning, having allowed no runs, he got a nice ovation from the crowd.
It was the only positive thing on the evening for the home team.
How it happened: Quickly. To make this simple, Matt Joyce homered for a 1-0 lead in the first; in the second, Mikolas gave up two more home runs as the Rays took a commanding 5-0 edge. The Rangers did get a run on Jim Adduci's sacrifice fly that scored Martin in the fifth.
Archer kept the Rangers guessing most of the night and they didn’t offer a serious threat outside of the sixth inning, when a pair of one-out singles from Elvis Andrus and Mike Carp got the crowd alive.
Leadoff hitter blues: Shin-Soo Choo is the Rangers' leadoff hitter, but doesn’t look like one at the plate. He struck out twice Wednesday and leads the majors with 124 strikeouts from the leadoff position. Miami’s Christian Yelich is second with 99. Choo has struck out in his past 11 games, the longest stretch of the season.
Saving the bullpen: Washington elected to use first baseman J.P. Arencibia in the ninth inning over a reliever in mop-up duty. It was Arencibia’s first appearance as a pitcher and the third time this season the Rangers used a position player on the mound. Arencibia allowed just an infield hit in his one inning of work.