Tampa Bay Rays
Struggling Rays send Archer back to Triple-A Durham
ST. PETERSBURG - The Tampa Bay Rays optioned pitcher Chris Archer to Triple-A Durham on Wednesday night after the team arrived home after a 3-6 road trip that ended with three straight losses in Kansas City. A corresponding move will be made before tonight's game with the visiting Tigers. It is expected designated hitter Luke Scott (back spasms) will be reinstated from the disabled list. This will be the first of a flurry of moves in the next few days as pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (right shoulder fatigue) will be activated Saturday from the DL in time to face the Tigers that night. Also, relief pitcher Joel Peralta's eight-game suspension for having pine tar inside his glove ends Saturday, and reliever Kyle Farnsworth (right elbow strain), who has yet to pitch this season, is expected to rejoin the team in the next few days.As a result, pitchers Cesar Ramos and Brandon Gomes will likely head back to Durham. Infielder Will Rhymes likely will be the odd man out when Hellickson returns. The Rays have lost 10 of their last 15 games. They hit .226 and scored 31 runs during the nine-game road trip through Washington, Philadelphia and Kansas City. They begin a seven-game homestand tonight against the Tigers 6 1/2 games out of first place and tied for third place with the Red Sox in the American League East. The first-place Yankees, who are currently riding a five-game winning streak, follow the Tigers for three games at Tropicana Field. After that, the Rays travel to Cleveland for a four-game series that leads into the All-Star Break. Right fielder Matt Joyce (oblique strain) should return before the All-Star Break. The status of third baseman Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring) is still in question. Longoria cut short his minor league rehab assignment June 18 when he felt discomfort in the hamstring. He met the team in Washington the following day then returned to St. Petersburg and stopped participating in baseball activities. Today will be the first time head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield will be able to examine Longoria since Longoria left the Rays on June 20. With his rehab and baseball activities halted for more than a week, it seems unlikely Longoria will be ready to return before the All-Star Break.