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Archer dominant despite feeling under the weather

Right-hander stuck out seven Blue Jays over seven shutout innings

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chris Archer continued his dominance on Sunday with seven scoreless innings against the Blue Jays to earn his third win of the season.

What everybody watching did not know was that the Rays' right-hander had been sick for two days, even throwing up in between innings.

"There's some kale and quinoa in the sewer down there [leading to the Rays dugout]," Archer said.

Rays manager Kevin Cash called Archer's performance "gutsy" given the way he pitched while feeling the way he did.

"Tonight might have been his most impressive outing simply with what he was dealing with the way his body felt," said Cash noting that he had received a text from Archer on Sunday morning that said he felt better, adding that Archer then felt worse once he took the mound.

Archer showed no signs of illness while pitching. His performance extended his streak of innings without giving up an earned run to 26 2/3 innings, a streak that dates back to the sixth inning of the right-hander's Opening Day start against the Orioles.

"I feel like if I'm 75, 80 percent, I have an obligation to the team," Archer said. "...The biggest thing is, I didn't want to compromise the team, put them in a bad situation and not be able to compete. But I was able to go home early yesterday, get a good night's sleep, get a couple of good meals in me. It felt like I could compete today and things went really well."

Archer retired 19 of the last 20 batters faced while setting a new club record by making four consecutive starts without allowing an earned run. He is the first American League pitcher to establish such a streak in the same season since Zack Greinke did so for the Royals in 2009.

The Rays' right-hander looked in control from the beginning Sunday afternoon. He allowed a first-inning single to Josh Donaldson and a double to Dalton Pompey in the fifth. The only other baserunner he allowed was Edwin Encarnacion, who walked in the first. Archer struck out seven, using 93 pitches, of which 64 were strikes.

"Constantly working, trying to improve," Archer said. "...I get 100 pitches, I'm not necessarily trying to throw 100 strikes, but throw the ball where I want to 100 times. That's probably, obviously, never going to happen. But I'm going to strive for perfection. And not beat myself up over not being perfect."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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