ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer won his sixth straight decision, allowing three hits over eight innings in a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Brandon Guyer and Joey Butler had RBI singles for the Rays, with a wild pitch and passed ball setting up both runs off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3-7). The Rays scored a third run off the Toronto starter with help from centerfielder Kevin Pillar ‘s throwing error and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo homer off Steve Delabar for a 4-2 lead in the eighth.
Edwin Encarnacion’s solo homer off Brad Boxberger, who earned his 19th save, trimmed Toronto’s deficit to one run in the ninth.
Archer (9-4) improved to 3-0 against Toronto this season, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out 25 over 22 innings in those games. He is 6-1 in 12 career starts against the Blue Jays and held them hitless Tuesday until Dioner Navarro homered with one out in the fifth.
Navarro went deep against his former team for the second straight night, ending the Blue Jays’ string of consecutive scoreless innings against Archer at 18. Pillar singled leading off the sixth for the second hit off the Rays starter, and Navarro singled in the seventh to set up a Blue Jays run that scored on first baseman Jake Elmore’s error.
Archer’s winning streak is the longest of his career. It spans nine starts since his last loss at home against Texas on May 7.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (strained lat) has resumed playing catch.
Rays: LHP Matt Moore (elbow ligament replacement surgery) could make his final minor league rehab start Friday night for Triple-A Durham and return to the rotation next week. “If all goes well, he’ll be with us,” manager Kevin Cash said. … RHP Erasmo Ramirez (groin) will have a bullpen session in the next few days and may be back for a start June 30.
BATTER UP: Steven Stamkos and four other members of the NHL’s Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning — Ben Bishop, Alex Killorn, Brian Boyle and Braydon Coburn — took batting practice before the game. Bishop caught the attention of early arrivals in the crowd of 11,474, hitting four home runs. He joined Stamkos, Killorn and Coburn in throwing ceremonial first pitches. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final in six games.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said LHP Brett Cecil is out as closer, which could lead to RHP Roberto Osuna taking over the role. Osuna struck out five over two innings in Monday night’s 8-5 win over the Rays, picking up his first career save. Cecil has allowed 10 earned runs over his last 5 2-3 innings.
Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada (5-3, 3.92 ERA) will face Rays RHP Nathan Karns (4-3, 3.53) in Wednesday’s series finale.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.