Fresh off claiming American League Pitcher and Rookie of the Month honors, Rays right-hander Chris Archer will face the D-backs on Wednesday with another chance to show why he's one of the most dominant up-and-coming starters in the Majors.
Archer was 4-0 with a stunning 0.73 ERA in July, highlighted by a two-hit shutout of the Yankees to close out the month. It was such an impressive stretch that when he allowed four runs Friday in seven innings against San Francisco, it was a surprising turn from his July form.
"One through nine they can all do damage in some way," Archer said of the Giants. "So yes, it was a very good reminder, and we're sticking to what we've been working on the last two months and hopefully going to get the same consistent result that we've been getting."
The Rays will look to Archer to grab a split in this two-game Interleague series and help them continue to threaten the Red Sox's 1 1/2-game lead in the American League East.
While Tampa Bay holds an AL Wild Card spot, the D-backs are fighting for a postseason berth. Arizona's 6-1 win Tuesday night allowed them to pick up a full game on the surging Dodgers, putting the D-backs five games behind Los Angeles.
Arizona's wildly inconsistent offense may hold the key to gaining ground in the National League West. Over their Past 10 games, the D-backs posted an average of just 1.3 runs in six losses but 7.5 runs in four victories.
"As a team, offensively, we need to be more consistent," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "We have to search for that and have better at-bats. Our pitching has done a pretty good job but our bats haven't been. We'll work on it, and it's up to us as a team to perform and give ourselves a chance."
While he can't match Archer's accolades, D-backs starter Randall Delgado has shined since joining the rotation in early June. Though he stumbled in his last outing, giving up six runs (four earned) in six innings, it was the first time he allowed more than three earned runs in nine starts. Delgado has picked up the win in his past three starts.
D-backs: Goldschmidt's career year
• In the midst of a breakout season, All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has joined elite company.
Through 304 career games, Goldschmidt is one of 15 players since 1998 to hit .285 or better with 300 hits, 75 doubles, 50 homers and 190 RBIs in his first three seasons. He joins the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Todd Helton and David Wright, among others.
Goldschmidt, who's building a case for the National League MVP, is hitting .300 with 26 homers and 89 RBIs, all of which would rank as career highs if the season ended today.
Rays: Leadoff hitter lost
• Center fielder Desmond Jennings was placed on the disabled list Tuesday (retroactive to Sunday) with a small fracture in the middle finger of his left hand.
Jennings, Tampa Bay's usual leadoff hitter, was hitting .258 with 11 homers and 40 RBIs before he went down with the injury. The Rays called up outfielder Jason Bourgeois from Triple-A Durham to replace Jennings on the roster.
Bourgeois, who is in his sixth partial season in the Majors, entered as a pinch-hitter Tuesday night and stayed in the game to play left field, going 0-for-2 in his first big league game this year.
• Archer became just the fifth player to snag both the Player/Pitcher and Rookie of the Month awards since the monthly rookie awards started in 2001.
• D-backs catcher Wil Nieves went 2-for-4 in Tuesday night's win and is now hitting .366 in 41 games this year, second best in the Majors over that period behind only the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.