Tampa Bay Rays Wrap Up Road Trip against Dodgers

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer walks off the field after the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Friday, April 8, 2016. Baltimore scored four runs in the fifth and won 6-1. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer walks off the field after the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Friday, April 8, 2016. Baltimore scored four runs in the fifth and won 6-1. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) /

The Tampa Bay Rays will look to win their first-ever game at Dodger Stadium when they open a two-game set on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The next two games for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Los Angeles Dodgers will conclude their nine-game, three-city road trip when they head into Dodger Stadium to face the Dodgers beginning on Tuesday.

For just the second time in franchise history and the first time since 2013, the Tampa Bay Rays will make their way onto the Dodger Stadium field where they have never won a game or even homered.

The Dodgers lead the all-time series seven-game to four, which includes a split of their two-games series in Tropicana Field this past May.

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As far as Interleague play goes, the Tampa Bay Rays are currently sitting on a 6-9 record and in order to complete their IL schedule with a .500 record or better, they’ll need to go 4-1 in their remaining games against the Dodgers and San Diego.The last time the Tampa Bay Rays had a losing IL record was in 2010 when they were 7-1.

To open this brief set, Chris Archer (5-13, 4.60) will toe the rubber for the Tampa Bay Rays. This is Archer’s first career start against Los Angeles and how fitting it would be to give the Rays their first-ever win in his first career start against them.

Archer comes into the game fresh off a solid performance and win over the Colorado Rockies, where he pitched six innings giving up just two runs on four hits. Add to the his 11 strikeouts, while walking one. The win was his first since June 6 when he faced the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In three IL starts this season, Archer is 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 18-innings with the wins coming over Arizona and Colorado.

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To say this season has been a disappointment is an understatement for Archer. He has struggled with his command, pitch selection and overall just be able to pitch on a consistent basis.

Despite leading the American League in strikeouts with 147, Archer has allowed a career 20 home runs in 123-1/3 innings compared to 19 in 212 innings last season. Additionally, his 51 walks are tied for the second most in the AL.

The biggest issue and or concern for this start is that all eyes, especially those from the Dodgers will be upon him. With the trade deadline a week away, the rumors surrounding Archer have been boiling over.

Archer has been linked to the Dodgers among a handful of other teams, However, what makes this buzz unique is the Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.

Friedman is the person that acquired Archer in a trade with the Cubs back in 2011 and as well the one responsible for his team-friendly contract. Nevertheless, it’ll cost the Dodgers a pretty penny if current Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman decides to trade with his close friend.

Opposing Archer is Bud Norris (5-9, 4.56) who’ll enter the game having pitched two-innings in relief on Friday in the 15-inning marathon against the St. Louis Cardinals. Norris would suffer the loss when he gave up a walk-off home run to Matt Adams.

Norris was acquired on June 30 from the Braves and this game marks his fourth start since joining the Dodgers. Wearing Dodger Blue, Norris is 2-2 with a 5.64 ERA (three starts) with opposing hitters batting .281 against him.

Interleague play for the veteran has been a struggle this season where he’s posted an 0-1 record with a 9.72 ERA in 8-1/3 innings pitching for Atlanta and Los Angeles.

For his career against the Tampa Bay Rays, Norris is 1-2 with a 4.62 ERA in seven games (six starts) where he has allowed 20 runs (19 earned) in 37 innings.

Two offseason additions by the Tampa Bay Rays have had pretty good success against Norris: Logan Morrison, who could return to the lineup after missing six games due to an inflamed forearm is four-for-seven with three RBIs and is batting .571 and Brad Miller who is currently tied with Julio Lugo (2003) and Asdrubal Cabrera (2015) for the most home runs by a shortstop (15) is batting .400 with one homer and two RBIs.

In Wednesday’s finale, the Tampa Bay Rays will send Matt Moore (6-7, 4.31) to the hill. Moore is coming off a win in his last outing on July 21 against the Oakland A’s. Moore held the A’s to three runs on four hits in seven innings,while striking out six and walking.

This is Moore’s second start of the season against the Dodgers and just his second career start against them. On May 3, Moore was the losing pitcher having thrown 4-1/3 innings when he allowed seven runs on hits in the Dodgers 10-5 win.

Like Archer, Moore is on the rumor hot seat being linked to a half dozen teams, including the Dodgers and Texas Rangers.

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 23, 2016

Although no trade is imminent, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports says that talks are continuing with the Rangers.

The Dodgers will send Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.61) who will be making his fifth start since returning from the DL following Tommy John surgery in April 2015.

McCarthy won his first two decisions off the DL with wins over San Diego and Colorado. However, he has posted two back-to-back no decisions coming against Arizona and St. Louis respectfully and both results were Dodger losses.

His last start came against the Cardinals on Friday (July 21), leaving after 6-1/3 innings with a leg cramp. Prior to exiting the game, McCarthy had given up two runs on one hit, while striking out four and walking three.

In his career against the Tampa Bay Rays, McCarthy is 5-3 in 12 appearances (11 starts) with a 2.88 ERA over 66-2/3 innings.

Rays Stingers

54 of the Tampa Bay Rays final 64 games will be against teams that are all currently over .500 – where they hold a 23-48 record. Their 71 games against teams .500 or better are most in the majors. On the flip side, they’re 15-11 against teams that are below .500.

After an off-day, the Tampa Bay Rays are 6-5 while the Dodgers are 4-5. The Dodgers own one of those wins against the Rays (May 3).

Corey Dickerson and Logan Forsythe both enter Tuesday’s game with a six-game hitting streak. Dickerson is 11-for-25 with four RBIs, while Forsythe is 9-for-28 with a homer and six RBIs.

The Rays are 7-45 when they’re outhit and the Dodgers have a 10-30 record when opponents outhit them.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: Cobb’s rehab shut down

After dropping their last three contests in Oakland over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Rays are just one game ahead of Minnesota for the bottom spot in the American League.