(SportsNetwork.com) - Tampa Bay righty Chris Archer was one of the best pitchers in baseball in April. Unfortunately, he's been among the worst in May.
Archer will try to find the win column on Tuesday when the Rays resume a four- game series with the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field.
After compiling a 3-2 record and a 0.84 ERA in five April outings, he is 0-2 in two May starts with an 8.68 ERA. He closed the first month of the season by not allowing a run in four starts, but has given up nine in his last two, spanning 9 1/3 frames.
Archer suffered his second straight loss and third in four starts on Thursday against Texas, as he yielded five runs and four hits with four walks in 3 1/3 innings. However, he did strike out eight batters, but fell to 3-4 and saw his ERA rise to 2.59.
"I couldn't make pitches when I needed to, and I wasn't in the zone enough," said a frustrated Archer. "If you're not in the zone, it doesn't matter how good your stuff is. They'll lay off, run your pitch count up and that's what happened. I felt like my stuff was tremendous -- swing and miss -- but I'd rather have a little bit less stuff and be in the zone more because at least that would give me a chance to go deep in the game."
Archer issued just six walks in 34 innings to start the season, but in his last 7 2/3 innings of work, he's handed out eight free passes.
"Eighty percent of my games have been overly dominant. Prior to tonight, the ones that I wasn't overly dominant I still felt good because I was in the zone more and actually gave my team a chance," said Archer. "Tonight, I didn't do my job at all."
Archer may be able to get himself untracked Tuesday, as he is a perfect 5-0 in six starts against the Yankees with a 1.93 ERA. In fact, should he win on Tuesday he'd become just the sixth pitcher in baseball history to win his first six decisions versus the Yankees.
New York, though, won the opener on Monday, as CC Sabathia picked up his first win of the season and the Yankees hit five home runs in an 11-5 victory.
Sabathia (1-5) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on six hits while striking out nine and walking two over seven innings. The left-hander, who improved to 13-14 lifetime against Tampa Bay, earned his first victory since April 24, 2014.
Alex Rodriguez, Chase Headley, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira all homered for the AL East-leading Yankees, who have won four of five. Teixeira went 4-for-5 with three runs scored.
"We swung the bats well," said Gardner. "CC pitched really well. I think everybody from top to bottom swung the bats well and came up with some big hits with guys on base."
Alex Colome (2-1) allowed eight runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts over six innings. Ernesto Frieri gave up one run in the seventh and Erasmo Ramirez was touched for two runs over the final two frames.
"It seemed like they had a lot of good swings," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Sabathia kind of quieted us down basically until it was almost too late."
The Rays, who gave up 14 hits Monday, had gone a club-record 19 consecutive games allowing fewer than 10. Tampa Bay had also allowed five runs or fewer in 20 straight games.
Getting the call for New York will be righty Nathan Eovaldi, who has yet to lose this season.
Eovaldi won his second straight start on Tuesday against Baltimore, as he held the Orioles to three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, running his record to 3-0 to go along with a 3.97 ERA.
The Rays are 1-6 against the Yankees this season.