Chris Archer is hoping this latest start was merely a minor setback.
Archer allowed six runs in three innings Sunday, and the Tampa Bay Rays lost 9-4 to the Detroit Tigers. Archer had won his previous three decisions after starting the season 0-4, but he was hit hard by the Tigers.
"Four out of my last six starts I've done really well," Archer said. "Maybe not to the standard that I've set for myself, but I've done really well."
Archer (3-5) allowed eight hits in a game Tampa Bay never led. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez homered, and the Tigers won despite losing starter Jordan Zimmermann to a strained groin in the sixth inning.
Detroit has won six of seven, but Zimmermann's injury is a concern. He has been the team's best pitcher after signing with the Tigers in the offseason. Zimmermann (7-2) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings -- this was the first start all year in which he didn't make it through six.
Cabrera also left early, with a left knee bruise after being hit by a pitch in the seventh.
Logan Morrison and Tim Beckham homered for Tampa Bay, but that wasn't enough to overcome a poor outing by Archer. J.D. Martinez hit an RBI double in the first and scored on Cabrera's single. After Morrison tied it with a two-run homer in the second, the Tigers scored again on an RBI triple by Andrew Romine.
"Really good approaches by the Tigers," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "The first inning they came up, they didn't miss too many balls, they barreled up a bunch."
Cabrera led off the bottom of the third with a homer to center, and Cameron Maybin's two-run single made it 6-2.
"Like every team we face, they had a bunch of good hitters," Archer said. "And I didn't execute pitches."
Beckham hit a two-run homer in the seventh, but Dana Eveland walked Maybin with the bases loaded in the bottom half to make it 7-4.
Victor Martinez added a two-run homer in the eighth.
With an 0-1 count on Steve Pearce in the sixth, players gathered around Zimmermann at the mound, and trainer Kevin Rand went out to talk to him. Zimmermann was replaced by Drew VerHagen, and the Tigers later announced that their starter had a right groin strain. Manager Brad Ausmus said the right-hander was having an MRI.
"We're going to hold off on anything concerning Zimm until we get a diagnosis," Ausmus said. "You certainly don't want to see the guy who has been your best pitcher all year get injured, but we'll reserve judgment until we find out exactly what it is. We know it's the groin, but we don't know how severe."
Rand was back on the field the following inning after Cabrera was hit by Eveland's pitch while leading off the bottom of the seventh. The Detroit slugger hobbled around a bit and initially went to first to stay in the game. He was removed for a pinch runner moments later.
ON A ROLL
Maybin's season didn't begin until Monday, when he came back from a wrist injury. Since then, he's 12 for 20 with a homer, five RBIs, five runs and four steals.
He also made a sparkling catch while hitting the wall in center Sunday on a drive by Pearce in the second.
Detroit's Ian Kinsler and Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria extended hitting streaks to 10 games.
Rays: Tampa Bay put OF Kevin Kiermaier (broken left hand) on the 15-day disabled list after he was hurt diving for a flyball Saturday. The Rays recalled OF Mikie Mahtook from Triple-A Durham.
Rays: Tampa Bay plays its next four games against the Marlins, the first two at Miami. Matt Moore (1-3) starts for the Rays on Monday night against Wei-Yin Chen (3-2).
Tigers: Detroit opens a three-game series against Philadelphia on Monday night. Mike Pelfrey (0-4) takes the mound for the Tigers against Vince Velasquez (5-1). The Tigers optioned VerHagen to Triple-A Toledo after Sunday's game. They plan to recall right-hander Buck Farmer from Toledo before Monday's game.
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