Archer labored through a sore groin and lasted five innings, and Seattle starter Marco Gonzales held Tampa Bay in check as the Rays suffered their third straight loss in a 3-1 defeat.
"It was a little tight, has been a little tight," Archer said. "I just, I wish I could've given the team a little more length. I think from a precautionary standpoint it was smart."
Archer allowed two runs on seven hits over five innings, his first start of fewer than six innings since April 26. The right-hander lasted at least six innings in all six of his starts in May, but struggled to find his command throughout the night against the Mariners.
Archer couldn't put the Mariners away in the third, allowing three straight hits with two outs as Seattle built a 2-0 lead. Jean Segura walked on four pitches to start the two-out rally and scored after a pair of singles by Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz. Kyle Seager followed with a double to left field to score Haniger before Archer struck out Ryon Healy to end the inning.
Archer allowed runners to reach in all five innings he pitched, and left the game after 92 pitches, just 52 of which were strikes.
Right-hander Wilmer Font replaced Archer and immediately inflated the Seattle lead, serving up a home run to Healy to lead off the sixth inning for the game's final run.
Wilson Ramos put the Rays on the board with two outs in the sixth on an RBI double off the center-field wall, scoring Daniel Robertson, who led off the inning with his second single of the game. Ramos' eighth double of the year nearly left the yard, and a replay review confirmed the call on the field.
"At the end of the day, if you are giving two, three runs against you, you got to find ways to win games," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Our bats just kind of went quiet."
Gonzales has allowed just one earned run in 26 innings as Ramos' double was the lefty's lone blemish. The Rays failed to record a hit the rest of the night following Ramos' double.
"Gonzales was tough," Cash said. "He had a really good changeup going tonight and a lot of soft contact by us."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS Robertson sent his bat flying into the Rays' dugout on consecutive pitches in his eighth inning at-bat against Alex Colome. Cash said Robertson has lost the handle three or four times this season, and the Rays manager was nearly hit by the bat the second time Saturday.
"It was coming for me," Cash said. "[Trainer] Joe Benge was in my ear telling me something. I'd have thrown it back at him though if it would've hit me."
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY Ramos nearly tied the game at 2-2 when his double with two outs in the top of the sixth inning hit off the top of the center-field wall. A replay review confirmed the call on the field, resulting in an RBI double, cutting Tampa Bay's deficit to 2-1.
UP NEXT Left-hander Blake Snell (7-3, 2.56 ERA), a Seattle native, makes his first big league start at Safeco Field when the Rays wrap up their series against the Mariners at 4:10 p.m. ET Sunday. Snell has won his last three starts and has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his last six. The Mariners will send Felix Hernandez (5-4, 5.83 ERA) to the mound.