Friday, April 8, 2016

Archer on mound for Rays-Orioles opener

The Rays and Orioles begin a three-game weekend series on Friday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Overall, the Orioles hold a 158-157 advantage in the all time head-to-head series. Last season, the Orioles won the series 10-9 despite having one of their home series (May 1-3) relocated to St. Petersburg due to unrest in the city of Baltimore.
The Orioles have not announced their starters for the series beyond Mike Wright, who will start the opener, while the Rays will continue with their four-man rotation, meaning Chris Archer will start Friday night's game.
Archer was dominant on Sunday in the Rays' season opener against the Blue Jays when he struck out 12 in five innings, a feat which established a Rays team record for strikeouts on Opening Day. Seattle's Felix Hernandez was the last player to strike out a dozen on Opening Day, when he did so on April 2, 2007, against Oakland.
Though he finished strong, Archer struggled with his fastball command in the first inning. When asked to look back at his first start, Archer offered the following assessment:
"There were a couple of things [he wasn't pleased with in the opener]. I think at the end of the day, it all stems from fastball command. And that was just in one inning. The rest, when you have a high number of strikeouts, your pitch count is going to be a little elevated.
"If I could have elminated some damage in that first inning, I would have done a better job of getting deeper, saving the bullpen, all the things that go into being a successful starting pitcher."
Archer is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in three career appearances at Camden Yards.
Things to know
• Archer's last win came on Aug. 31 at Baltimore. Since then he is 0-4 in seven starts, matching the longest losing streak of his career.
• Manny Machado (.421), J.J. Hardy (.357), Chris Davis (.308), and Jonathan Schoop (.600) have all hit well against Archer.
• The Rays' Steve Pearce has 25 home runs in 469 plate appearances at Camden Yards.

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