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Rays vs Pirates Preview: Chris Archer battles Pirates for series win

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Chris Archer takes the mound as the Rays go for the series win in Pittsburgh

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, Chris Archer and the Rays look to conclude a three-game set with a win against the Pirates before heading East to face division-rival Baltimore Orioles.

The Rays won the first game of the series with the Pirates taking game #2 yesterday. In the opener, Alex Cobb flirted with a no-no to lead the way in a 4-2 extra-innings win. In game #2, Blake Snell gave up 6 runs over 5 innings after rejoining the rotation, while the bats couldn't capitalize with runners in scoring position resulting in a 6-2 victory for the Pirates.

The Rays will look to bounce back tonight when the two square off on Fox Sports Sun. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM ET.

Starting Pitchers

Chris Archer

The right-hander (6-4) allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four across six innings to earn the win Friday against the Orioles. It wasn’t his most memorable outing, but the offense exploded for 14 runs, enabling him to earn his sixth victory of the year.

Archer stands 6-4 on the year with a 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 126/33 K/BB ratio. The Rays ace has excelled vs. RHB’s, holding hitters to the tune of .210/.267/.335 from the right side of the plate. He’s struggled more against lefties, posting a .263/.333/.415 slash-line from the left side of the plate.

In one career start against the Pirates, Archer is 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA.

Jameson Taillon

The right-hander turned in his first quality outing (ND) since returning from the DL on June 12, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings Friday in a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.

As JT noted in our series preview:

Earlier this year Jameson Taillon faced the prognosis of a future with testicular cancer. He had surgery to remove the cancer and missed about a month while recovering. It has been great to see him return to the mound to mostly positive results. On the season he has a 3.33 ERA and 3.79 FIP through 51.1 innings. The former number two overall pick from the 2010 draft has a good strikeout rate and average walk rate.

Taillon has a sharp 3.33 ERA and 46:18 K:BB in 51.1 innings and will look to build on those numbers today at home against the Rays.

The 25-year old has posted reverse splits so far in 2017. He’s struggled vs. RHB’s (.286/.359/.486), but faired well vs. LHB’s (.241/.305/.310).

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Steven Souza - CF Adam Frazier - 2B
Corey Dickerson - LF Josh Harrison - 3B
Evan Longoria - 3B Andrew McCutchen - CF
Logan Morrison - 1B Josh Bell - 1B
Tim Beckham - 2B John Jaso - LF
Shane Peterson - RF Gregory Polanco - RF
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Jordy Mercer - SS
Jesus Sucre - C Chris Stewart - C
Chris Archer - RHP Jameson Taillon - RHP