Highlighting the second game of the Rays-Angels series be Chris Archer and Jered Weaver, two quality starters who have been heading in opposite directions recently.
Weaver will be making his ninth start of the season and fifth at home. He has won his last three starts and is 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his last five.
In four of those five starts, Weaver allowed exactly one earned run. He allowed two in the other.
Weaver has made nine career starts against the Rays and has a 4-3 record with a 3.92 ERA, but he has not defeated the Rays since the 2011 season.
Of note, Weaver enters the game eight strikeouts shy of passing Mike Witt for third place on the Angels' all-time list.
At the other end of the spectrum, Archer is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA and 10 walks to 11 strikeouts in his last three starts. In addition, he has gone five innings or less in three consecutive starts for the first time in his career.
In his first five starts of the season, he went 2-1 with a 4.11 ERA.
Critical to Archer's recent results is the fact opponents are hitting .227 in two-strike counts, up from .152 in 2013.
Archer knows the numbers and is aware something has been amiss.
"I think the reoccuring theme the past three or four starts is I'm not executing with two strikes," Archer said. "And I'm having one big inning. Not executing with two strikes is driving my pitch count up. And with men on and two outs, the successful pitchers in this league make pitches and get out of it."
Archer has made two career starts against the Angels. He went 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA after facing them on back-to-back starts, Aug. 28 at Tropicana Field and Sept. 2 at Angel Stadium.
Rays: Cobb getting close
Alex Cobb (left oblique strain) will make a rehab start on Saturday for Class A Charlotte against Clearwater (Phillies) at Charlotte Sports Park.
The right-hander is expected to throw five innings or 75 pitches. He has been on the disabled list since April 13. The Rays were 7-5 when he was put on the DL.
Angels: De La Rosa rehabbing
Former Rays right-hander Dane De La Rosa, Angels manager Mike Scioscia's 75-game bullpen workhorse in 2013, is optimistic his latest rehab setback is just a minor bump in the road.
"I just felt some tightness after the last inning I had, so I decided to shut it down," said De La Rosa, who made 12 appearances for the Rays in 2011-12 before being traded to the Angels for Steve Geltz.
De La Rosa had been pitching at Triple-A Salt Lake but came back to Anaheim on Wednesday to be examined. He received a cortisone injection in his AC joint and won't throw again for two days before heading back to continue rehab.
"It killed a lot of the inflammation," De La Rosa said Thursday, adding he now had "no concern whatsoever. I just needed to get this taken care of."
He said he was pleased with his consistent velocity -- 92-93 mph, with some 94-95s thrown in -- before the tightness.
Scioscia said De La Rosa was showing the velocity needed to pitch in Major Leagues before the setback. De La Rosa experienced forearm tightness in the spring that cost him most of the exhibition season. He rehabbed and came back to pitch in one game for the Angels but with diminished velocity, so he went back on the DL again.
• Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton (torn ligament in left thumb) hit on the field Thursday for the first time since his injury. He's on target to begin playing in Minor League games at the end of next week, Scioscia said.
• Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun (sprained ankle) went through two days of agility drills and baserunning with good results, and will begin a rehab stint with Salt Lake City in Reno this weekend.
• Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow surgery) will throw bullpens on Friday and Monday. The right-hander is expected to be back with the team by late June.
• Rays right-hadner Jake Odorizzi did not allow a hit against the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon until there were two outs in the sixth. James Jones' two-out single ended the longest no-hit bid by a Tampa Bay starter since Matt Moore on July 11, 2013, against Minnesota.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.