He's got electric stuff. He works hard. He says all the right things. But the winner's circle has been surpringly elusive for the Rays ace. His winless streak continued on Friday night, as the Rays fell to the O's, 6-1.
Archer hasn't recorded a win since Aug. 31, when he picked up his 12th, and final, win of the 2015 season after pitching six scoreless innings against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Those same Orioles made a mess of Archer's line Friday night, hitting four home runs against him -- all solo shots, with three of them coming in the fifth.
"Giving up four homers in a game is very, very rare for any pitcher, for me in particular," said Archer, who allowed just 19 home runs in 2015. "So I'm not going to dwell on it too much. I just know that I have to execute better and execute better early in the count."
Archer allowed six runs on 10 hits, two walks and a wild pitch while striking out five in five innings. Though the game was played in cold weather, Archer refused to cite the conditions for affecting his performance.
"I'm never going to make an excuse," Archer said. "It wasn't cold. It was different than what we pitched in in Spring Training and at home, but it was not cold. The weather did not cause the performance at all."
Archer survived a scare in his final inning of work when Matt Wieters hit a shot back to the box that ricocheted off Archer's glove hand.
"It hit my hand, but the glove was covering my hand," Archer said.
Archer said he put some ice on his hand but is fine.
In taking his second loss of the season, Archer saw his winless streak increase to a career-long eight games and his ERA swell to 7.20. During the winless streak, Archer is 0-5 with a 6.15 ERA.
"You know what, I thought Baltimore had a really good approach against him," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "A lot of guys in that lineup have seen him time and time again. I thought Baltimore gave [Archer] some issues last year with the approach they took against him, and it seemed like it's carried over again."
Archer is now 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA in 10 career appearances against the Orioles (nine starts).
Alas, it's early in the season. Cash did not sound worried about Archer going forward, nor did Archer.
"[Archer] will be fine. He'll make some adjustments and be right where he needs to be," Cash said.
"I'm not going to beat myself up too much," Archer added. "Obviously I wanted to win, but I think if I continue to pound the strike zone the way that I did tonight, that over the course of 33, 34, 35 starts I'm going to have a more normal outcome for me."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.