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Chris Archer makes his major-league debut against a red-hot Stephen Strasburg when the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Washington Nationals in the second contest of a three-game set on Wednesday. Archer was recalled from Triple-A Durham and won’t be broken in easy by facing Strasburg, who has won five consecutive starts and has struck out 100 in just 77 innings. The Nationals have lost four in a row after Tampa Bay won Tuesday’s opener 5-4.
Strasburg will be attempting to keep Washington from matching its longest losing skid of the season. The Nationals were swept in three games by the New York Yankees before the one-run loss in the opener against Tampa Bay. The Rays have won two in a row after losing four of their previous five. Carlos Pena had a two-run homer and Elliot Johnson had a two-run triple on Tuesday. Ian Desmond and Michael Morse homered for Washington. Morse’s homer was his first in 15 games after missing the first two months of the season with an injury.
Rays Nationals Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), Mid-Atlantic Sports Network 2 (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (0-0, 0.00) vs. Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (8-1, 2.45)
Archer is replacing Jeremy Hellickson, who went on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. He is considered one of Tampa Bay’s top pitching prospects despite being just 4-8 with a 4.81 ERA in the minors. The 23-year-old Archer struck out 90 but walked 45 in 76 2/3 innings at Durham.
Strasburg has 30 strikeouts against just three walks in 19 innings over his last three starts. He struck out 13 in six innings while beating the Boston Red Sox in his last outing when he gave up just two runs and four hits. Strasburg has never faced the Rays.
1. Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta was ejected prior to the eighth inning Tuesday when the umpires examined his glove upon the request of Washington manager Davey Johnson and discovered pine tar. Peralta played for the Nationals in 2010.
2. Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is just 4-for-33 over the last eight games.
3. Rays outfielder Matt Joyce left Tuesday’s game with back tightness and his availability is uncertain.