A New York Yankees offense that's been seemingly all or nothing the past two weeks has mostly been the latter when facing Chris Archer.
The Tampa Bay Rays ace looks to maintain his excellence against the Yankees and deal New York a second straight costly loss in Sunday's series finale.
The Yankees have dropped seven of eight career meetings with Archer (12-10, 2.78 ERA), who's 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA in those games. The lone win came July 3 at Yankee Stadium, though Archer exited in the seventh inning with a 3-0 lead that evaporated on Brian McCann's three-run homer off Kevin Jepsen in the eighth.
Road success has been a recurring theme during Archer's All-Star season. He's 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 13 away starts and been dominant his last two, tossing a one-hit shutout Aug. 20 against Houston and pitching six scoreless innings in Monday's 6-3 win over Baltimore.
He'll take on a New York lineup that's managed nine hits in splitting the first two games of this series. The Yankees rode three homers to a 5-2 victory in the opener but stranded nine, including leaving the bases loaded in the eighth inning, in Saturday's 3-2 loss that snapped a three-game win streak.
''I like the approach, I like the at-bats, we just didn't get the results we wanted," manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees have homered 15 times over a 6-2 stretch but 14 of them have come in four games. They've scored three or fewer runs in the other four.
Archer has allowed one home run in 35 career innings at Yankee Stadium and has handled most of New York's sluggers. McCann is 2 for 14 off him and Carlos Beltran 2 for 12, with Alex Rodriguez 0 for 6 with three walks.
Jacoby Ellsbury, 12 for 18 with a home run against Archer, did not start Saturday due to an upset stomach but entered in the seventh inning.
Having fallen 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the AL East lead, New York (75-59) hopes Ivan Nova (5-7, 4.50) can get back on track in the finale.
Nova has posted a 7.80 ERA in losing three consecutive starts after going 4-1 with a 3.68 ERA in his first five after the All-Star break. The right-hander surrendered three runs on a pair of homers in six innings of Monday's 4-3 defeat at Boston.
The Rays (67-68), winners of four of six, have been a nemesis for Nova in recent years, as he's 0-5 with a 4.71 ERA in six matchups after winning six of his first seven decisions against them. Among those losses was an 8-1 home defeat July 5 in which Nova allowed three earned runs in five innings.
Evan Longoria, who's 10 for 32 with three home runs off Nova and has four homers in five games, hopes to play after leaving Saturday's contest due to being hit by a pitch in his right forearm.
''It actually feels a lot better now after some treatment and ice. I'm fairly certain I'll be able to go,'' he said.
Tampa Bay, 13-6 at Yankee Stadium from 2013-14, has lost two of three in each of its two previous visits this season.