Rays go for sweep, fifth straight win against Twins
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins will finish off a three-game series Sunday at Target Field as a pair of five-win pitchers take the mound to start.
Tampa Bay will follow a David Price outing by sending out Chris Archer, while Minnesota will put its faith in struggling starter Kevin Correia Sunday.
The 25-year-old Archer has racked up a 5-5 record on the season with a 3.41 earned run average and 101 strikeouts. His latest outing aside, Archer has been no stranger to pitching deep into ballgames.
On July 5, Archer went 8 1/3 innings in a 7-2 win over Detroit, and lasted seven innings in two starts each prior to that. But against Toronto on July 11, Archer made it through just five innings before being pulled, having given up five runs on six hits. He posted the no-decision, but Toronto still took the 8-5 win.
The young right-hander has been solid in two career starts against Minnesota. He's allowed just one unearned run and has fanned nine batters in 12 combined innings.
On the other side, the struggles for Correia have been apparent at times. The Twins' starter owns a 5-11 record on the season, along with a 4.61 ERA. He picked up a win in his latest start, but dropped three in a row and four of five prior to his most recent outing.
Still, against Colorado on July 12, Correia worked six innings and surrendered just one earned run on seven hits in a 9-3 Twins victory over the Rockies. He struck out only one batter, and walked one as well.
Target Field hasn't been his favorite place to pitch this season, evidenced by his 2-6 home record and 6.12 ERA in Minnesota. Opponents are batting .305 on Correia at home this year.
Price had another fantastic outing Saturday night as he led his Rays to a 5-1 defeat of the Twins. Price lasted eight innings and gave up just four hits with no runs. He also added to his American League-leading strikeout total by punching out nine Twins batters.
"I've never been the pitcher that I am right now," Price said. "It's awesome."
He picked up his 10th win of the season, while Phil Hughes -- another 10-game winner -- was credited with the loss after going seven innings and allowing five earned runs.
The Rays jumped out to a 5-0 lead after their half of the seventh. Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run home run in the second inning, and singled to score a run in the seventh. He finished with three RBI, while Jose Molina added two RBI for Tampa.
The Twins will be trying to avoid the sweep and a further setback in the AL Central, while the Rays, who have won four in a row, will try to keep away from last place in the AL East.
07/20 10:07:12 ET