Rays conclude series with Blue Jays

(Sports Network) – Chris Archer hopes to extend his impressive run on the road
Thursday evening when the Tampa Bay Rays wrap a four-game series with the
Toronto Blue Jays.

After losing his season opener at home to Baltimore on April 6, Archer logged
a 2-0 victory at Miami on Saturday with seven scoreless innings of one-hit
ball. He also walked one batter and struck out five.

It marked the 14th straight road start for the 26-year-old righty in which he
allowed three earned runs or fewer. That ties the club record set by Jeremy
Hellickson from April 19, 2012 to April 15, 2013 and Archer has posted a 1.68
ERA over that road streak, which dates back to May 16 of last year.

“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.”

Archer is 2-1 with a 3.38 earned run average in nine career meetings with

Right-hander Aaron Sanchez makes the second start of his career tonight for
the Blue Jays hoping to give his club a split of the four-game set.

Sanchez made 24 relief appearances a season ago as a rookie, logging 5 2/3
scoreless innings and a save across four games against the Rays.

The 22-year-old made the first start of his career last Saturday in Baltimore,
but took the loss for giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks in just
3 1/3 innings of work. Sanchez served up a pair of homers in defeat.

The Rays won the first two games of this series by one run before losing 12-7
on Wednesday. Toronto smacked three homers in the victory, with Jose Bautista,
Dalton Pompey and Devon Travis going deep.

Travis and Josh Donaldson both finished with three hits and Donaldson drove in
three runs, while Mark Buehrle allowed three runs over six innings of work to
get the win.

“(Buehrle) just works his way through there,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons
said. “He just keeps you off balance. He just plays to win. That’s Buehrle.
He’s going to go out there to win.”

Erasmo Ramirez struggled for the Rays, charged with nine runs — seven earned
— on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.

“With Erasmo, similar to last outing, he was falling behind. If you fall
behind to a lineup like this one, it’s going to hurt,” Cash said.

Mikie Mahtook hit his first career home run and Steven Souza smacked a solo
homer in the fifth inning before driving in two runs in a four-run ninth for
the Rays that accounted for the final score.

Tampa Bay had a four-game winning streak snapped.

The Blue Jays were 11-8 versus the Rays last season.