HOUSTON – Tampa Bay's Chris Archer gained a pair of young fans at this year's All-Star Game and gave them a shout-out after pitching a one-hitter in a 1-0 win over their father's team on Thursday night.
"I was motivated by Haley and Kaitlin, A.J. Hinch's two daughters, who ever since we took a selfie together at the All-Star Game, they've adored me," Archer said before flashing a huge grin. "So I wanted to — I was in their hometown and I wanted to perform well for two of my biggest fans."
Archer, allowed only a fifth-inning single by Colby Rasmus, and struck out 11 to lead the Rays over the Astros.
Hinch, Houston's manager, had talked about the affinity his daughters had for Archer all week and said they weren't allowed to root for him against the Astros. Archer, who sent over signed copies of the Baseball America he's on the cover of to the girls, laughed when told of Hinch's comments.
"I'd like to have them ... at least watching every game I throw from here on out because the outcome is good when they're watching," Archer said.
It was Archer's third career shutout and second against the Astros, having also blanked them in 2013. Archer's complete game ends a streak of 154 games without one for the Rays, which was the longest span in the AL. Their last one came when Drew Smyly did it against the Blue Jays on August 22, 2014.
Archer (11-9) retired the final 15 batters, fanning five. Rasmus led off the fifth with a groundball single and was the last runner for the AL West leaders.
"He was in complete control," Hinch said. "He's the real deal. He's got every pitch and he had it tonight."