Chris Archer tosses two-hit shutout against Yankees

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Chris Archer’s recent stretch of dominance continued this afternoon, as he tossed a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It was his second shutout in his past three starts.

This qualified as a “Maddux” for Archer, as he needed just 97 pitches to finish it off. Outdueling Ivan Nova, the 24-year-old right-hander struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that Archer is the first rookie pitcher to throw a shutout against the Yankees in New York since the Orioles’ Arthur Rhodes did it on July 29, 1992.

Archer will finish July at 4-0 with a 0.73 ERA and 22/7 K/BB ratio in 38 innings over five starts. Meanwhile, the first-place Rays have a 2.27 ERA this month. It’s no wonder why they are the hottest team in baseball.

The Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.