Chris Archer finally cools down, walks a batter and strikes out fewer than 10

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Rays starter Chris Archer entered Saturday’s start against the White Sox having put together three dominant starts, going at least seven innings, recording at least 11 strikeouts and issuing exactly zero walks in all three outings. He became the first in the modern era to get double-digit strikeouts with zero walks in three straight starts.

He attempted, but failed, to make it four in a row on Saturday. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five in a no-decision as the Rays topped the Pale Hose 5-4. Nevertheless, Archer remains one of the best pitching performers this season, boasting a 2.00 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP, and a 113/21 K/BB ratio in 90 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Sonny Gray (1.74) and Dallas Keuchel (1.90) have a lower ERA than Archer.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The players association said Wednesday night it was dismayed by the length of the ban.

“While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we’re disappointed by the decision,” the union said. “It was an unfair result for Joe Kelly given the cases presented.”

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty that was first reported by Barstool Sports.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.