Blue Jays struggle again at Tampa Bay as Archer and Rays complete 3-game sweep with 5-1 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Toronto Blue Jays’ futility at Tropicana Field has extended into a fourth season.

Chris Archer pitched two-hit ball in seven scoreless innings and Brandon Guyer drove in four runs Sunday as the Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep, 5-1 over the Blue Jays.

Toronto scored six runs in the series and are 11-21 in road games against Tampa Bay since 2012.

“This has always been a tough place for us,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “You move on.”

Mark Buehrle (3-1), who had been supported by 12 or more runs in each of his three preceding starts, gave up five runs and 13 hits in 5 2-3 innings.

The Blue Jays were coming off a three-game sweep of Baltimore.

“We just need to be consistent all around, in all aspects of the game,” Buehrle said. “Seems like we’re not doing that. A few games good, a few games bad. When we’re going good, we’re not that good. When we’re going bad, we’re not that bad.”

Archer (3-2) became the first American League pitcher to go four starts within one season without giving up an earned run since Zach Greinke did it for Kansas City in 2009.

The right-hander started having flu-like symptoms Friday, which carried over into Sunday.

“The biggest thing is I didn’t want to compromise the team, put them in a bad situation, and not be able to compete,” Archer said. “I felt like I could compete today and things went really well.”

Archer gave up an unearned run in a 1-0 loss to Boston on Tuesday, but he has not given up an earned run since opening day, a span of 26 2-3 innings. His ERA is 0.84.

Evan Longoria had three straight hits and a walk for the Rays after going 4 for 4 on Saturday. Longoria’s batting average rose from .218 to .306 in two games.

Guyer hit the second pitch from Buehrle for a home run, his first of the season.

Logan Forsythe drove in another run for the Rays in the first inning with a double after Longoria’s single.

Guyer made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, then drove in two more runs with a two-out single off Buerhle in the sixth.

Matt Andriese pitched the final two innings for the Rays. Tim Beckham had two hits and scored twice.


Blue Jays: RF Jose Bautista (sore right shoulder) missed his fifth straight game. Bautista hit in an indoor cage and Gibbons is hopeful the slugger will return to the lineup in the next couple days. … INF Maicer Izturis (groin) is progressing but not close to playing in minor league games.

Rays: CF Desmond Jennings, who left after seven innings Saturday due to left knee soreness, didn’t play.


1B-DH Edwin Encarnacion was 0 for 3 and has one hit in his last 24 at-bats. In the last 11 games against Tampa Bay, he has three hits in 38 at-bats. … SS Jose Reyes, who has two hits in 22 at-bats, got the day off. … 2B Devon Travis was hitless in four at-bats and had his 11-game hitting streak end.


Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-2, 5.14 ERA) will face Boston RHP Joe Kelly (1-0, 4.08 ERA) Monday night.

Rays: Tampa Bay plays it first game in open air Monday night at the New York Yankees. “I want to put some sunglasses on for batting practice,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said with a smile. The game at Yankee Stadium will be Tampa Bay’s 20th of the season. No major league team has ever gone this far into a season playing all their games under a roof.

The Associated Press

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