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Rays’ Chris Archer finds his form again in shutout over Orioles

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The hair. You recognized the hair, growing and twisting with all the life of his pitch selection.

The striped stirrups. You recognized those, too.

But most of all, you recognized the performance of Chris Archer, last year’s all-star, this year’s also-ran, as he shut down the Baltimore Orioles Monday night.

Archer was terrific, throwing a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts in the win over the Orioles. In particular, it was his change-up that led the way for the Rays (9-10).

Archer had been a disappointment on the season, losing all four of his starts and ranking near the bottom in earned runs, WHIP, batting average against and on-base percentage. He hadn’t lasted more than 5 1/3 innings in any game this season.

But against the Orioles, Archer was back in form. He recorded 20 outs, and half of them were strikeouts.

Tampa Bay got the runs it needed on a double by Curt Casali in the fourth (which scored Steven Souza Jr. from first base) and when Casali was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth.

“It was awesome,” said Souza. “It was amazing. He’s such a competitor. I can’t wait to see his next start.”

Said Casali: “It’s easy to win ballgames when the other team doesn’t score any runs.”

The teams play again tonight, with Jake Odorizzi pitching for the Rays.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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