Archer allowed one hit over four scoreless innings Wednesday, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-3.
Archer's outing came a few hours after the Rays said pitcher Alex Cobb has tendinitis in his right forearm and will miss his planned outing against Baltimore in the opener on April 6. Tampa Bay President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman said it's too early to announce Cobb's replacement, and Archer is considered a top contender.
"My mentality is the same," Archer said. "Our pitch count is roughly 100. I'm trying to make the most of that. I've pitched nine innings before, so I know that it's possible. So that's my goal every single time I go out whether I'm pitching April 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th. It doesn't matter to me because I know what I'm capable of."
Toronto's Mark Buehrle gave up three runs and seven hits over 4 1-3 innings.
"They were aggressive early," Buehrle said. "I don't think I was as on location-wise as I've been. But again it's spring training. I felt pretty good, which I think gets me in trouble because I try to over throw instead of staying within myself. I'm going to try to throw a little extra hard and I get in trouble."
Evan Longoria hit a third-inning solo homer off Buehrle. David DeJesus drove in two runs with a second-inning single.
Rays: RHP Nathan Karns is scheduled to go against Minnesota RHP Nicky Nolasco Thursday.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez and Boston LHP Henry Owens are Thursday's scheduled starters
Rays: Archer struck out three and walked three.
Blue Jays: Buehrle had three strikeouts.
Rays: OF Desmond Jennings returned after missing Tuesday's game with flulike symptoms. ... OF Brandon Guyer (oblique) was in the lineup. ... LHP Drew Smyly (shoulder tendinitis) is playing catch but hasn't thrown off a mound. ... Closer Jake McGee (shoulder surgery) has resumed throwing off the mound.
Blue Jays: Projected closer Brett Cecil (shoulder) had a bullpen session and said he could throw 15 to 20 pitches Saturday in a minor league game. He expects to be ready for opening day. ... DH-1B Edwin Encarnacion (back inflammation) is hitting off a tee and could play in about a week. ... Dioner Navarro, limited to DH by knee soreness, will start catching again within a few days.
The teams combined for seven runs in the ninth.
Toronto's Jeff Francis gave up four runs and five hits in two-thirds of an inning. Cory Burns hit his first two batters before getting the third out.
Tampa Bay's Jhan Marinez allowed three runs and three hits over two-thirds of an inning before Jim Patterson recorded the game-ending out following a wild pitch.
Rays reliever Grant Balfour, who missed time due to a family matter, will throw batting practice Friday. He had a 30-pitch BP session Tuesday.