(SportsNetwork.com) - Nathan Karns hopes to follow in the footsteps of Chris Archer's gem when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Miami Marlins in the rubber match of a three-game series.
It's been feast or famine for Karns. Since the beginning of the 2014 season he has made 32 starts between Triple-A Durham and the Rays. A total of 12 times he's given up at least five earned runs, but 13 other times he's held opponents to one run or less.
The right-hander was bumped up in the Rays' rotation due to spring injuries to Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly. He overcame his rough beginning to throw 5 2/3 innings in a 6-5 loss to the Orioles. Karns allowed five hits and six runs along with four walks and four strikeouts. He's never faced the Marlins.
Henderson Alvarez, who takes the mound for Miami, was the Opening Day starter for the Marlins. He gave up six hits and a pair of runs over seven frames in a 2-1 loss to the Braves. Alvarez is 1-5 with a 4.78 ERA in ix games against the Rays.
On Saturday, Archer gave up one hit over seven scoreless innings as Tampa Bay silenced Miami by a 2-0 count.
Archer (1-1) struck out five and walked one during his efficient 83-pitch outing. Kevin Jepsen struck out two in a scoreless eighth and Brad Boxberger finished off the shutout with a quiet ninth to earn his second save.
"I can't say enough about Arch and the way he threw the ball," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "What was probably most impressive about his outing was that he did have a little 8-10 pitch glitch where he lost it and he was able to regain it and control himself. He really picked us up big time."
Tim Beckham homered and Evan Longoria drove in the other run for the Rays, who rebounded from a 10-9 extra-inning loss in Friday's series opener.
Jarred Cosart (0-1) was the hard-luck loser after giving up a run on three hits with three walks over six full frames for the Marlins.
"We've gotten shut down a couple of times on this homestand," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We just didn't have an answer for their pitcher. They got a couple of big hits, and that ended up being the difference. We never really got anything going."
The Marlins swept all four meetings from the Rays last season.