ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays take a two-game losing streak into tonight’s matchup against the Chicago White Sox — which begins a three-city, 10-game road trip — and RHP Chris Archer said he’s not putting any pressure on himself to help turn things around.
Archer (2-1, 3.65 ERA) said his approach never changes.
“There’s no more sense of urgency and there’s not going to be any more effort (than normal),” Archer said. “I can’t give any more than what I give. I have the same mentality regardless, if we’re 100 percent healthy and have two stallions in Triple-A waiting to come up, or if we are kind of piecing together our rotation.
“I’m trying to go out there and do what DP (David Price) did, and do what DP does, regardless of what situation our starting rotation is in.”
The Rays need Archer to go deep into tonight’s game — and that’s usually a great indicator of success. Dating to last season, the Rays are 15-1 in games when Archer lasts six or more innings — and 2-9 when he doesn’t. He worked 62⁄3 innings during Saturday’s win against the Yankees, a nice bounce-back from getting rocked at Cincinnati.
“If I stay positive and continue to work hard, the results are going to be positive in the long run,” Archer said. “Baseball is a game where you’re going to struggle. The ones who really thrive and succeed in this game are the ones who bounce back the best from their struggles.”
Yankees RHP Michael Pineda, detected with using illegal pine tar (rubbed on his neck) during Wednesday night’s game against the Red Sox, was handed a 10-game suspension. He will not return until after the Rays’ trip to New York on May 2-4.
“It was blatant,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “If you’re going to do that, just be a little more subtle on where you’re going to hide it. That was probably the worst thing.”
Maddon, using some mirth, reflected on the potential future for the pine-tar issue.
“I do believe you’re going to see ... maybe more of a legalization of it, sort of,” Maddon said. “It might start in Washington and Colorado, then reach the rest of the country at some point.”
Super Sam returns
Twins LF Sam Fuld, the popular former Ray, didn’t have a double last season. On Thursday he had a pair of RBI doubles and went 3-for-5. He was 2-for-5 on Wednesday night against the Rays.
“It just works out that way,” Maddon said. “Anytime we play against our former players, they have a field day against us. Congratulations, Sam.”
“He’s familiar with the surroundings here, so this was a good place for him to start,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Fuld, who was picked up off waivers from the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. “He put some really nice swings out there, driving the baseball. He’s an exciting baseball player, like we thought.”
Odds and ends
The Twins won two of the three games, capturing a series at Tropicana Field for the first time since Sept. 4-6, 2006. ... Rays RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, who pitched 11⁄3 scoreless innings, worked in a major-league game for the first time since Sept. 21, 2011 (with the Marlins when he was known as Leo Nunez). ... Tampa Bay’s seven runs scored were the most in a loss since Aug. 7, 2013. The Rays had won 17 straight games when scoring five-plus runs. ... LHP Erik Bedard became the first Rays pitcher to walk four batters in the first inning since LHP Scott Kazmir against Detroit on Aug. 1, 2008. ... DH David DeJesus, who had a three-run homer, is batting .311 with 12 homers against the Twins. ... Logan Forsythe has reached base in all five of his pinch-hit appearances this season (3-for-3, walk, hit by pitch). ... RHP Ricky Nolasco (six runs and 10 hits allowed in six innings) became the first Minnesota pitcher to win despite six-plus runs and double-digit hits since Frank Viola on July 5, 1986, against Baltimore.