Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
BALTIMORE -- Chris Archer is trying to right the ship, and the Tampa Bay Rays hope the pitcher can do so on Thursday and help them complete a sweep of their brief two-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Archer comes into the game with a 1-1 record and a 6.59 ERA. He has completed at least six innings only three times in his last 11 starts dating to last season.
One of those came in his last start, when the right-hander went 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, four hits and one walk in a no-decision.
"It's a long season and a consistent routine, consistent preparation reaps consistent results," Archer said. "I've been pretty much doing the same thing for the last few years, and the results have been pretty good over the course of the whole season."
Archer, who is 5-8 with a 4.81 ERA in 17 career appearances (16 starts) against Baltimore, will take on Dylan Bundy (1-2, 1.42). Bundy has pitched well in every start and grown into the ace of an Orioles staff that has performed better than many expected.
Bundy has a 1-2 career record in six appearances (five starts) versus the Rays with a 6.26 ERA. He will try to halt a four-game losing streak for the struggling Orioles (6-18).
The first game of the series was rained out Tuesday before the Rays came back for an 8-4 victory Wednesday night. Tampa Bay (9-13) has set a franchise mark by scoring at least eight runs in four straight games.
That's a big reason why the Rays have won five consecutive games. Everyone in the starting lineup got at least one hit Wednesday.
"Guys are getting probably a little more acclimated with their timing, where they're hitting in the lineup," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We seem to have gotten into a rhythm."
Tampa Bay made two moves before Wednesday's game, bringing up veteran relief pitcher Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham and optioning Hunter Wood to the Bulls.
The 33-year-old Venters last pitched in the big leagues for the Braves in the 2012 playoffs. He has undergone two Tommy John surgeries as well as what the team calls a half of another one since then, a big reason Venters had not been back to the major leagues -- even though he made the All-Star Game in 2011.
But Venters got into the Wednesday game and retired the only batter he faced. Cash had said before the game that the left-handed Venters would be a situational pitcher.
The Orioles found more injury problems as they were forced to place infielder Tim Beckham on the 10-day disabled list -- retroactive to April 24 -- due to a left groin strain. The news got worse after that as The Baltimore Sun reported that Beckham could be headed for surgery that will keep him out six to seven weeks after seeing a doctor in Philadelphia.
"What we're dealing with now is, 'Here's where it is, here's what one of the best (specialists) in the world is telling us,' and obviously it's Tim's decision about where he wants to go," manager Buck Showalter said in The Sun. "I know initially he really wanted to see if he could get back and get through it. I think after talking to the doctor and showing the MRI ... I think I've got a pretty good feeling on which way he's going to perceive it."
Baltimore added infielder Jace Peterson to replace Beckham after claiming him on waivers from the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
Peterson started his Orioles career with a bang thanks to a two-run double in his first at-bat during Wednesday's game.