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Archer can't get Rays on winning track in G1

Ace allows 3 homers after Duffy goes deep with 3-run shot
MLB.com @wwchastain

BALTIMORE -- Camden Yards has not been good to Chris Archer.

That didn't change in the Rays' 6-3 loss to the Orioles in Game 1 of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader. The Rays have lost five consecutive games and fell to 15-21 on the season.

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BALTIMORE -- Camden Yards has not been good to Chris Archer.

That didn't change in the Rays' 6-3 loss to the Orioles in Game 1 of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader. The Rays have lost five consecutive games and fell to 15-21 on the season.

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"These guys, they bang here," Archer said. "For whatever reason, the ball flies. I'm a fly-ball pitcher. I just have to be better. I have to get the ball down in the zone. Period."

In eight previous career appearances in Baltimore, seven of which were starts, Archer was 2-5 with a 6.70 ERA. That looked like ancient history when Matt Duffy's three-run homer in the first staked Archer to a 3-0 lead. He responded by retiring the Orioles in order in the bottom half of the inning.

Video: TB@BAL: Cash talks about Archer's start in 6-3 loss

But the Orioles got busy in the second.

Jonathan Schoop hit a leadoff homer and Chance Sisco doubled home another run. And the O's added a third run on a double steal that saw Sisco steal home.

Manny Machado, who homered twice in the opening game of the series Friday night, led off the third with his MLB-leading 13th homer of the season. Schoop followed with his second homer of the game to stake the Orioles to a 5-3 lead.

Video: TB@BAL: Duffy makes a diving stop, gets the forceout

"They're ultra-aggressive," Archer said. "I gave up three first-pitch home runs. I've gotta be better early in the count, if it's going to be a super-aggressive team. I have to execute at a higher level earlier in the count."

Archer uncorked a wild pitch in the sixth to give the O's a three-run lead.

The Orioles have "seen him a lot," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "And he left some balls up. Seemed like maybe Machado, Jones and Schoop just have a lot of comfort against him. ... They just see him really well."

The Orioles, who reside in last place in the American League East, have now won four in a row.

"Whatever we're doing, just stay out of the way and get a good seat and watch it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Jon's had some success with Archer and that's hard to do, but Jon had a big day, too."

Video: TB@BAL: Hechavarria makes a nice backhanded stop

To Archer's credit, he gave the Rays seven innings on a day when they couldn't afford to spend the bullpen.

"I feel like it was a different game from the fourth to the seventh inning," Archer said. "To the point where I knew my pitch count was a little high. But I wanted to finish the game, just to at least provide more length ... to save the bullpen. I felt that good."

Despite saving the bullpen, Archer's line resembled past experiences in this ballpark as he allowed six runs on seven hits, three walks and three home runs to take his third loss of the season. He is now 2-6 with a 6.91 ERA in nine games at Camden Yards.

"It is frustrating," said Cash about having a three-run lead and the Rays ace on the mound and losing. "Very. That's all. Frustrating."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Orioles had runners at the corners in the second when Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tried to throw out Jace Peterson stealing second. Peterson slid in safely while Sisco was able to race home from third on the play to complete a successful steal of home on a double steal.

Video: TB@BAL: Rays challenge tag at second base in the 2nd

"Sooky kind of sailed it a little bit," said Cash, who told reporters he made the call to try and throw out Peterson. "Joey Wendle made a really good play. We challenged it, hoping that we nicked the helmet. And it didn't work. The guy scored. They did everything right. We did everything right except the throw was off line a little bit. We want to get the out at second base. We don't care about the guy at third, especially that early in the game. We're going to bet on Archer giving us a good chance. And Sooky with his arm to throw that guy out. It just didn't happen."

SOUND SMART
Since returning from the disabled list on April 27, Duffy is batting .360 with three doubles and five RBIs in 12 games.

HE SAID IT
"Kind of my own scouting report. Just evaluating yesterday. I was in five 0-2 counts, and I was kind of tired of it. So I decided to just be a little more aggressive out there." -- Duffy, on his three-run homer in the first that came on the first pitch

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer, Matt Duffy