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SF@TB: Archer fans four over seven innings vs. Giants

Young Chris Archer is smart enough to know everyone has ups and downs and that he is no exception.

The 24-year-old Rays right-hander has already experienced both through his first 20 Major League games, winning American League Pitcher and Rookie of the Month honors in July before struggling in his last three starts.

Archer experienced forearm tightness two starts ago, forcing him to leave after 1 2/3 innings, and surrendered five runs in five innings his last time out. Although his last three games (6.59 ERA, .327 average against) have been far worse than his July numbers (0.73, .140 in five starts), Archer is not letting it get to him.

"You're going to have outstanding months where the ball bounces your way, and you're going to have average months," Archer said. "The true test is who you're going to be in your next start. My last game was not what I consider to be pitching to my potential. The next one is going to be another fun game."

Rays manager Joe Maddon -- whose club is two games behind the first-place Red Sox -- is also not worried.

"The biggest difference I saw was command of his fastball," Maddon said. "He's a young guy. He's still finding his way. I'll take what he's been doing. I think he's made tremendous progress this year. I'm not concerned."

Archer will face a Blue Jays squad that despite Saturday's 6-2 victory has struggled at Tropicana Field, where it has lost 44 of its last 60 games against Tampa Bay.

"We've had trouble here," manager John Gibbons said.

The Blue Jays look to hand the Rays their first home series loss since mid-June on Sunday but will be doing so at less than full strength. Shortstop Jose Reyes is out until at least Tuesday because of swelling and discomfort in his right knee.

But even with Reyes and a lineup that also includes Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, Gibbons said "our offense has kind of cooled off."

Blue Jays: Redmond on the bump
The Blue Jays send right-hander Todd Redmond to the mound Sunday after he threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his last start. He could have worked deeper had he not had an 11-day layoff, but he is hoping to make another good impression in Sunday's series finale.

"I hope I am," Redmond said when asked about making an impression. "But besides that, you have to treat every start like it could be your last. Just go out there, throw strikes and compete."

• Brett Lawrie has a seven-game hitting streak (.464).

Rays: Scott lands on DL
The Rays placed designated hitter Luke Scott on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after he missed the past two days because of lower back spasms.

"He was a little better today, but I could tell it was still bothering him even sitting down," Maddon said. "More than likely, it will take several more days, but I think it will be a minimal stay. We did not want to go with that position being void."

• The Rays have won 17 of their last 22 home games and are undefeated (7-0-1) in their last eight home series.

Worth noting
• The Rays have won seven of their last nine against Toronto. A victory Sunday would be the sixth consecutive season the Rays have won the season series.

• Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar has a six-game hitting streak (.333). Comments