(SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Archer attempts to extend his solid run on the mound Saturday night when the Tampa Bay Rays continue their unique three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Rays are the road team for this series despite it being played on their home field. That is because this set was shifted to St. Petersburg from Baltimore because of the unrest in the city over the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody that has led to recent protests and riots.
Archer will step onto a familiar mound having not allowed an earned run over his past 26 2/3 innings spanning back to an Opening Day loss to the visiting Orioles. He yielded four runs -- three earned -- in that 6-2 setback, falling to 1-3 lifetime with a 5.58 earned run average in six games (5 starts) versus Baltimore.
However, the righty has allowed just one unearned run since, though it did come in a tough-luck 1-0 loss to Boston on April 21. He rebounded to beat Toronto on Sunday, logging seven scoreless frames of two-hit ball. Archer walked one and struck out seven, giving him 27 strikeouts over his past three outings.
Even more impressive was the fact that manager Kevin Cash said afterwards that his hurler was under the weather.
"Can't say enough about what Archer did," said Cash. "He was so sick, he was throwing up between innings. (Today) might have been his most impressive outing because of the way he felt."
He has a 3-2 mark and 0.84 ERA on the season.
The Orioles hand the ball to Miguel Gonzalez, who has not lost since a 2-0 setback against the hosting Rays on April 8. However, he allowed just one run over 5 2/3 innings in that setback, leaving him 4-4 with a 3.82 earned run average in 12 starts in this matchup.
The right-hander followed up with back-to-back wins before taking a no- decision versus Boston last Friday. He yielded four runs on eight hits, two homers and a walk in six innings of work, lifting his season ERA to 3.42.
The Orioles look to rebound in this "home" game after getting shut out 2-0 in Friday's opener. Chris Tillman was handed the loss despite tossing seven solid innings of two-run ball while striking out seven.
However, Baltimore's offense managed just four hits and struck out 13 times to see a three-game win streak snapped.
"It would be a convenient excuse (to explain the loss on the changing of venues), but once the game starts ... it's just a baseball game," O's manager Buck Showalter said.
The Rays also had only four hits, but Evan Longoria and James Loney were able to drive in runs during the fourth inning, and Alex Colome and four relievers took care of the rest.
"It's great playing behind those guys," Loney said of the Rays' staff. "They put us in a good position."
Colome, in his first start of the season, retired the final nine batters he faced and only allowed three singles in his five-inning start.
The Orioles won two of three at Tropicana Field from April 6-8 and have taken six of the past 11 meetings overall.