Preview: Rays’ Chris Archer Faces Dodgers In What May Be Final Audition
Preview: Rays’ Chris Archer Faces Dodgers In What May Be Final Audition
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to be linked to the frontline starting pitchers that are said to be on the market. One of those candidates is Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer, who had high odds placed on him landing in Los Angeles.

Archer indeed takes the mound at Dodger Stadium, but still as a member of the Rays, with the club in town for a quick two-game Interleague series. This marks just the second time the Dodgers have faced the Rays at home.

Los Angeles swept a three-game set during the 2013 season. The clubs split a pair of games at Tropicana Field in early May this year. Archer didn’t start any of the contests and Tuesday’s start may very well serve as a final audition.

He enters with a 5-13 record, 4.60 ERA, 4.14 FIP and 1.40 WHIP. Included in that is a 4-6 mark and 6.37 ERA in 11 road starts. Although Archer is going through somewhat of a down season, he does lead the American League with 147 strikeouts.

The Dodgers counter with Bud Norris, who was the club’s first answer outside of the organization to the litany of injuries. Norris is 5-9 with a 4.56 ERA, 3.99 FIP and 1.36 WHIP with the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. He’s 2-2 with a 5.64 ERA since being traded by Atlanta.

Norris is coming off an unusual week, as his last start was six days ago against the Washington Nationals, where he allowed six runs on seven hits and had eight strikeouts over seven innings, suffering a loss.

The right-hander then was used as an emergency reliever on Friday, entering in the 15th inning and throwing 1.1 innings. It was Norris who allowed the walk-off solo home run to Matt Adams. In seven career games (six starts) against the Rays, Norris is 1-2 with a 4.62 ERA and 1.54 WHIP.

Howie Kendrick enters play Tuesday with a 16-game hitting streak. He trails only Corey Seager’s 19-game hitting streak for the team high this season. Over his hot stretch, Kendrick is batting .394/.459/.636 with seven doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs.

Justin Turner joins Kendrick in swinging a hot bat, as the Dodgers third baseman is hitting .333/.398/.679 with six doubles, seven home runs and 19 RBIs over 19 games in July. Turner hits third in Tuesday’s lineup, while Kendrick bats fifth. Adrian Gonzalez, per usual, is slotted in the cleanup spot.

Yasiel Puig is again out of the lineup with a right hamstring injury. It’s the fifth consecutive game in which Puig has not started, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he’s available as a pinch-hitter.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
LF: Howie Kendrick
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Andrew Toles
CF: Joc Pederson
P: Bud Norris

Rays lineup:

2B: Logan Forsythe
SS: Brad Miller
3B: Evan Longoria
LF: Corey Dickerson
1B: Steve Pearce
CF: Kevin Kiermaier
RF: Brandon Guyer
C: Luke Maile
P: Chris Archer