(SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Archer showed last time out that he certainly can rise to the occasion.
The Tampa Bay Rays hurler will need to be on top of his game Tuesday night as he attempts to slow down the streaking Los Angeles Angels in the second contest of a three-game series.
Starting opposite Seattle's Felix Hernandez on Wednesday, Archer logged eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball in an incredible performance. He struck out a season-high 12 batters and did not issue a walk, but ended up without a decision in his club's 3-0 setback.
Archer did not come out to pitch the ninth inning even though he had thrown only 95 pitches and closer Brad Boxberger was tagged for the loss by the Mariners.
"As far as how I felt with all three pitches, I've never felt better," Archer told Tampa Bay's website. "I've had some better outcomes as far as pitching a little bit deeper, but that's the best that I've felt in a really long time."
The 26-year-old righty is 5-4 with a 2.12 earned run average on the season, having not lost since May 7, and is 3-1 lifetime against the Angels with a 3.63 ERA.
Archer will look to snap the Angels' season-high, five-game winning streak, a run in which they have amassed 33 runs. Los Angeles hit four homers in Monday's 7-3 series-opening win, two off the bat of Albert Pujols.
Pujols had three of the Angels' 11 hits last night and is batting .375 over his last eight games with five homers and 10 RBI. He has helped the Angels get a season-high four games over .500 at 28-24.
The Rays, meanwhile, have lost seven of nine to dip back to the even mark at 26-26.
Mike Trout and David Freese also homered for the Angels and Garrett Richards earned the win by yielding three runs over six innings.
"We're hitting because we're due. It's showing up now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Nick Franklin hit his first home run of the season for the Rays, but Alex Colome yielded five runs over six innings of work to take the loss.
"Alex competed well against a hot lineup," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of his starter. "He made a couple of mistakes to their big boys and they made him pay."
C.J. Wilson gets the start for the Angels tonight after picking up a victory in his most recent outing, a 12-2 decision over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
Wilson did his part in the blowout by giving up only one run and two hits over six innings. He also struck out seven, but did struggle at finding the plate at times in issuing five walks. Still, the southpaw evened his season record at 3-3 to go along with a 3.18 ERA.
Wilson has posted a record of 5-3 with a save and 3.67 ERA in 23 games (10 starts) against the Rays.
The Angels won five of seven versus the Rays last season and have won five of their past six at home in this matchup.