Preview: Chris Archer trying to round into form as Rays visit White Sox
TV: FOX Sports Sun
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 1:30 p.m.
It is safe to assume that Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Chris Archer hopes this visit to Chicago’s South Side goes better than the last time he was in town.
On Monday, Archer will take the mound against the Chicago White Sox for his third start of the season.
Archer’s previous outing at Guaranteed Rate Field turned into a nightmare on Sept. 2. He gave up home runs to the only two batters he faced — Alen Hanson and Yolmer Sanchez — before leaving with forearm tightness only eight pitches into his outing.
“For the first time in my life, it felt like it was better that I give the ball to someone else,” Archer told reporters after the ill-fated start, which did not result in serious injury.
Now, Tampa Bay (1-8) will look to its 29-year-old ace to stop the bleeding after an ugly start to the season. The Rays won their season opener over the Boston Red Sox before losing the next eight games in a row.
Two of Tampa Bay’s last three losses have come by one run. The eight-game losing streak is worse than any stretch of 2017, when the team never lost more than five games in a row.
Meanwhile, Chicago (3-5) also is looking for the reset button after a weekend sweep by the Detroit Tigers. The White Sox managed only one run in their past two games, including a shutout loss Sunday.
The series offered a reminder of the growing pains associated with a rebuild, even if White Sox manager Rick Renteria prefers not to use the word.
“No, because these guys are going out there trying to win a game, do their job every single day,” Renteria said to the Chicago Tribune. “So I don’t use that word.”
White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 9.00 ERA) will look to bounce back from a disappointing season debut against the Toronto Blue Jays. The 33-year-old gave up five runs and eight hits, walked two and struck out four in five innings.
Gonzalez has seven career victories against the Rays, which is tied for his career high against any opponent. He is 7-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 16 starts. That includes a victory over Tampa Bay in his most recent appearance last season during which he pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings with no walks and five strikeouts.
For Tampa Bay, Archer (0-0, 6.55 ERA) also is looking to shape up after giving up four earned runs apiece to the Red Sox and the New York Yankees. He has 14 strikeouts in 11 innings this season, but he has allowed a fair share of baserunners with 12 hits and four walks during that span.
In eight career games (seven starts) against the White Sox, Archer is 3-2 with a 4.29 ERA. He went 0-2 against Chicago last season and is looking for his first victory over the team since Sept. 29, 2016.
The Rays and White Sox won three games apiece against each other last season. The White Sox finished with a narrow 22-21 advantage in runs, with both teams winning two of three games on their home field.