On the night he set a Tampa Bay Rays record for strikeouts in one season, Chris Archer was done in by his control.
Archer walked a season-high four batters Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to the Yankees, and three of them figured in the scoring for New York.
"I backed myself into a bad situation in that (sixth) inning, walking two, trying to be a little too fine," Archer said. "But I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm not going to be perfect every time."
Prized rookie Luis Severino rebounded from his worst start, Greg Bird homered and drove in two runs, and the second-place Yankees stayed three games behind Toronto in the AL East.
Severino (4-3) allowed one run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander gave up a career-high six earned runs over 2 1-3 innings in an 11-5 loss Friday to the Blue Jays.
Bird had a second-inning RBI double after Archer walked Carlos Beltran, and Chase Headley put the Yankees up 2-0 with a run-scoring single in the sixth after two more walks. Bird, also a rookie, made it 3-1 on his ninth-inning homer, his seventh in 29 games.
Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, who pitched the ninth for his 34th save, combined for 3 1-3 scoreless innings for New York.
Archer (12-12) gave up two runs, four hits and struck out seven over six innings for the Rays. His fourth strikeout of the game, coming against Brett Gardner in the third, broke Scott Kazmir's club mark of 239 set in 2007.
"I read somewhere that the record lasted for something like nine years," Archer said. "Considering the players that come through this organization that are known for strikeouts ... to show that my swing-and-miss capability is up there with those guys, it's a nice accomplishment for sure."
Steven Souza Jr. cut the Rays' deficit to 2-1 on a towering, run-scoring double that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury appeared to briefly lose sight of near the warning track. A video review failed to determine if the ball had struck an overhanging catwalk, which would have made it a game-tying homer.
"It's so hard to tell," Souza said. "They're just tiny things that they're hitting so you can't hold the umpire too accountable on that one. I don't know if you can even see that with an HD cam."
Betances entered with one out in the seventh and walked the bases loaded before striking out James Loney on three pitches. Loney had gone 3 for 3 against Severino.
Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 in his second game since an MRI exam Tuesday determined he has a bruised left knee. The designated hitter homered Tuesday.
The Rays will hold a news conference Friday to announce that 1B Carlos Pea has been signed and the 14-year veteran will immediately announce his retirement. Pena is currently a TV analyst.
Ellsbury, mired in an 0-for-25 slide, had two hits in three at-bats against Archer. Ellsbury is 16 for 24 overall against the Rays right-hander. ... Betances has not allowed an earned run in his last 36 road outings, dating to Aug. 28, 2014.
Rays SS Asdrubal Cabrera (strained left knee) could miss at least a few days. ... Relievers Jake McGee (left knee) and Xavier Cedeno (side) will throw to hitters Thursday. C Curt Casali (hamstring) will be among the batters.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (12-6) and Mets LHP Steven Matz (3-0) are Friday night's starters at Citi Field.
Rays: LHP Matt Moore (1-4) will face Orioles RHP Chris Tillman (9-11) in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.