Steven Souza Jr. demonstrated some power in the minors, but it was never quite clear if it would translate to the big leagues.
His bat is leading the way for Tampa Bay thus far in 2016.
Souza looks to continue his power surge Friday night as the Rays visit the Baltimore Orioles.
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Tampa Bay salvaged a home split of a season-opening series with Toronto after dropping the first two games. Souza went 6 for 15 with three home runs, including two in Wednesday's 5-3 win.
A third-round pick by Washington in 2007, Souza is flashing the promise that helped persuade the Rays to relinquish the highly touted Wil Myers in a three-team, 11-player deal in December 2014.
Souza hit 16 homers in 110 games while still holding rookie status in 2015, but also struck out 144 times. He homered 56 times in the minors from 2012-14.
"I'm just staying within myself," Souza said. "Letting the ball take its course."
He batted .137 in 16 games against Baltimore last season, though three of his seven hits were home runs.
Tampa Bay tied for 18th over the last two seasons with 284 homers, but has scored nine of its 14 runs on six home runs. The Rays' 18 straight games with at least one home run are a club record.
Chris Archer gets the nod after striking out 12 in five innings in Sunday's opener, though he also walked three while throwing 107 pitches and allowing three runs in a 5-3 defeat.
"I always want to go more than five innings," said Archer, who is 2-4 with a 4.44 ERA in eight starts against the Orioles. "But I understand that you can't be perfect every inning, every game."
The Orioles completed a three-game sweep of Minnesota with Thursday's 4-2 comeback victory.
Jonathan Schoop singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh after a 21-minute rain delay. Manny Machado and rookie Joey Rickard, hitting atop the order for the first time after going 4 for 7 in his first two games, both homered.
Baltimore is chasing its second 4-0 start in 20 years and has won 13 of 17 at home dating back to a 7-6, 11-inning win against Tampa Bay on Sept. 2. Star outfielder Adam Jones sat out Thursday due to sore ribs, though manager Buck Showalter expects him to be back Friday.
"I just thought it would be smart to give him a day," Showalter said.
Jones could be in for a rough return, though, as he's 2 for 22 with seven strikeouts against Archer. Machado is 8 for 19 off the right-hander.
Chris Tillman retired all six batters he faced before a rain delay ended his opening day outing after only two innings. He'll look to win for the first time in six starts against Tampa Bay after three straight victories previously. He owns a 5.52 ERA in 11 career games against the Rays at Camden Yards.
Evan Longoria, 5 for 17 thus far, is a .327 hitter with six home runs in 49 at-bats against Tillman.
Baltimore won last season's series 10-9.