Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer delivers to the Toronto Blue Jays during second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Sunday, July 21, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays hope Chris Archer can put the brakes on
their five-game losing streak Tuesday when they play the first of three games
against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field.
Tampa ran into the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend and was swept in a
three-game set to cap a miserable 0-5 road trip that also included a pair of
losses in Arizona.
"We're going to hit those bumps, and I'm honestly not concerned about that,"
Tampa manager Joe Maddon said. "We need to get back in the moments where we
have runners in scoring position."
After winning 19 of 22, the Rays have now lost seven of their last nine.
Trying to avoid their first six-game slide since beginning the 2011 campaign
with six losses, the Rays turn to 24-year-old right-hander Archer, who is 6-4
with a 2.71 ERA. Archer was forced from his last start on Wednesday against
the Diamondbacks with forearm tightness.
"I am glad they are cautious with me, thinking about the future and hopefully
it just dissolves and my next start I am out there at normal game speed,"
Over his last nine outings, though, Archer is 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA.
Seattle will counter with a young righty of its own in 23-year-old Erasmo
Ramirez, who is 3-0 with a 7.12 ERA. This will be his first start since Aug.
Seattle lost two of three over the weekend to the Milwaukee Brewers, but
managed to salvage the series on Sunday, 2-0, thanks to another dominating
effort from Felix Hernandez.
Hernandez (12-5) won for the seventh time in his last eight decisions after
going eight scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and struck out nine while
walking one, shrinking his ERA to an American League-low 2.28.
"I just wanted to do what I had to do to win this game," Hernandez said. "I
felt pretty good today. I mixed a lot of pitches."
Justin Smoak hit his fourth home run in his last 11 games for Seattle, which
won for only the second time in six tries.
Tampa Bay won six of 10 from the Mariners last season.
The Sports Network