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Archer sparkles in final WBC 2017 tuneup

MLB.com @wwchastain

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Bring on the world!

That's what Chris Archer seemed to be saying Saturday afternoon while dominating the Orioles for three innings.

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Bring on the world!

That's what Chris Archer seemed to be saying Saturday afternoon while dominating the Orioles for three innings.

View Full Game Coverage

Archer -- who threw three perfect innings, complete with five strikeouts in the 1-0 loss -- will depart from Rays camp to join Team USA's pursuit in the World Baseball Classic.

"I felt really good," Archer said. "The way everything was coming out of my hand. Changeup, fastball, breaking ball, everything felt good. ... I was full-intensity. Under control, but full-intensity today."

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Archer's velocity showed a pitcher well advanced for this stage of Spring Training as the right-hander hit 97 mph and lived at 95-96.

Archer also showed a new wrinkle he's been experimenting with by using a pause in his delivery, much like fellow starter Alex Cobb.

"I'm just tinkering with just getting to a strong balance point more than anything," Archer said. "I'm not thinking too much about what it's doing to the hitter. Just trying to get into a strong position at the top of my delivery, then staying on top of the baseball."

Archer used the delivery at different times during his outing.

"There's no method," Archer said. "I just really want to feel myself over the rubber more than anything."

Rays manager Kevin Cash allowed that Archer had used the pause during his last outing, causing him and pitching coach Jim Hickey to do a double take.

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"I think it's something he's probably tinkering with, I'm guessing to keep him gathered a little bit longer," Cash said. "But whatever works, if he has outings like that, that's fine."

Archer will leave Rays camp Monday to join Team USA in Fort Myers. He'll make his first Team USA start on March 10.

"And then everything is to-be-determined after that," Archer said. "If we advance, then there's a window of dates I could possibly throw. And if we advance further, there's a window of dates. Nothing's set in stone. Nothing's firm yet. But as far as I know March 10, I pitch in Miami."

Cash said Archer looked great and that he was happy for him being able to partake in the WBC 2017.

"[I] wish him well," Cash said. "Go and have a great showing. What a great experience it will be for all of those guys."

Bill Chastain has been covering the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer