In his most impressive start since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31, Archer (5-8) allowed one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander made it out of the sixth inning for the first time in nine starts for the Pirates, who traded for him in hopes of making a playoff run.
The Pirates remain marooned in fourth place in the NL Central despite a five-game winning streak that’s moved them three games over .500.
Felipe Vazquez allowed one walk in the ninth but earned his 35th save one day after he let a 1-0 lead slip away — his fifth blown save of the season. The Pirates went on to win 2-1 in 11 innings on Tuesday night.
Adam Frazier broke a 1-1 tie with a homer to right-center with two outs in the fifth inning off rookie right-hander Heath Fillmyer (3-2). It was Frazier’s ninth homer of the season, and it came two days after he fouled a ball off his knee.
The injury held Frazier out of the starting lineup Tuesday, although he entered in the ninth and played the final three innings. He started Wednesday at second base.
Fillmyer allowed two runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in seven innings for Kansas City, which has lost four straight after winning five of six.
“What do they say in baseball? You can win a game with 100 pitches and lose a game with one. That’s kind of what happened today,” Fillmyer said. “Not that I was perfect by any means, but you know what? I left one a little up. The guy got it, and it ended up being the difference.”
Royals manager Ned Yost was pleased with how the 24-year-old battled.
“These are big-league starts,” Yost said. “That’s exactly what you ask for. Go out, keep us in the game, give us a chance to win. That’s exactly what it is.”
Colin Moran put the Pirates on the board first with a single to left that scored Corey Dickerson, who was 2 for 3 with two doubles, in the second inning.
Adalberto Mondesi tied it with a homer to center, his 10th, in the third. He also hit a double in the first inning.
Royals OF Jorge Bonifacio was taken out of the starting lineup after going 0 for 4 with four strikeouts and one walk Tuesday. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and drew a walk.
Royals RHP Jorge Lopez (2-4, 3.93 ERA) is expected to start against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. He left Kansas City’s game against the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 14 with a left rib contusion sustained in a collision with 3B Hunter Dozier.