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Tigers vs. Rays Preview: Detroit looks for redemption against Chris Archer

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The Tigers are halfway to a sweep. What, I can’t be optimistic?!

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Surprise, it’s a tiger!
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays (35-35) at Detroit Tigers (32-34)

Time/Place: 4:10pm EDT / Comerica Park, Detroit

SB Nation blog: DRaysBay

TV: Fox Sports 1, mlb.tv

Radio: Detroit Tigers Radio Network, mlb.com

Newspapers: Detroit News, Detroit Free Press

Verbal updates: your local Town Crier

Pitching matchup: Chris Archer (4-4, 3.80 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (6-4, 3.40)

An intriguing pitching battle is on the docket for the third game of the Rays-Tigers series, a late-afternoon tilt pitting Chris Archer against Michael Fulmer.

Archer's 2016 was bad by his standards, as he went 9-19 and had an ERA over 4 for the first full season of his career. Still, Archer's 2017 has been up-and-down; on May 10 he went eight innings, striking out 11 Royals while only allowing five hits, following that up with five clunky innings in Cleveland, giving up six earned runs and walking six for good measure. Strikeouts haven't been a problem, though, with 114 in 92 1/3 innings so far.

Fulmer's 2016, of course, was stellar: he brought home the Rookie of the Year award. His last start was on June 8 against the Angels, and it did not go well: he was lifted with one out in the fifth after giving up five runs. He was scrubbed from his last start with right shoulder bursitis, but he's apparently feeling well enough to start today. Fingers crossed.

Last night’s game featured booming bats and a solid pitching performance from Daniel Norris. Victor Martinez spent the night in hospital. Nicholas Castellanos signed autographs this morning at the stadium for the fans. The domestication of the dog, as Homer Simpson might say, continues unabated.