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TB@CHC: Archer allows two runs over six innings

After a marathon 14-inning win over the Rays on Tuesday, the Rangers will send Miles Mikolas to the mound on Wednesday night at Globe Life Ballpark in Arlington with the four-game series tied at one game apiece.

Mikolas has allowed just three runs in 12 innings over his last two starts. On Aug. 2, the right-hander allowed two runs in seven innings against the Indians, then followed that up with a five-inning, one-run outing against the Astros last Friday.

Mikolas is trying to string together a succession of solid starts and break out of the roller-coaster he has been on since joining the Rangers rotation at the beginning of July.

"That's the goal, win games and string some good outings together," Mikolas said. "I have to take what I have done to be successful and try and be consistent -- stay out of the big inning and not let things get out of control."

Chris Archer, who is 7-6 with a 3.33 ERA this season, will start for the Rays. In his last four road starts, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA. Like Mikolas, Archer has also been solid of late, allowing two runs (one earned) in his latest start, a no-decision against the Cubs on Friday.

Pitching in Texas summer heat isn't the same as throwing in the Windy City, but Archer said he doesn't think it will be an issue.

"I'm going to try not to let it be," Archer said. "It is a drastic change from Chicago and Oakland. That's one of the reasons why I don't do too much conditioning inside. On the road, I want to get acclimated to the climate, the weather, the atmosphere -- because it's different everywhere we go."

Rangers: Rios expected to return to lineup Wednesday
Rangers outfielder Alex Rios was held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday with a sprained right ankle, but after he was able to pinch-hit in the 13th inning on Tuesday, there is a good possibility he will start on Wednesday. Manager Ron Washington just isn't sure if it will be at designated hitter or right field.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is also dealing with a sprained left ankle and has been shuttling between the outfield and DH to keep it as strong as possible. The Rangers recognize Choo won't be at full strength the rest of the season and Rios is bracing for the same possibility.

"Since I'm going to be standing on my feet every day, it's something I'll have to deal with the rest of the year," Rios said. "I just have to go day by day and see how it feels."

Said Washington, "It all depends on Alex. I'll probably give him some DH days."

Rays: Kiermaier back in lineup after back issue
Kevin Kiermaier left Monday night's game for precautionary reasons when he felt some tightness in his left lower back, but he was back in the lineup for Tuesday night's contest against the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

"Got a lot of treatment and thought I was going to wake up pretty sore today, but I didn't," Kiermaier said. "I had to let them know I was good to go for the game."

Kiermaier said he swung the bat and he did some range of motion drills to test the back and he reported, "I had no problems." He said he wasn't really concerned about the injury being serious.

On Tuesday, Kiermaier went 0-for-3 at the plate with a strikeout, but he did throw out a Texas runner at the plate from right field in the seventh inning of a tie game.

Worth noting
• Neither the Rangers nor the Rays homered in the series' first two games, making it 17 games this season that there was not a home run hit at the Ballpark, the most in club history. The park is averaging 1.69 home runs per game, 15th among the 30 parks.

• After Monday night's shutout win over the Rangers, the Rays had thrown 14 shutouts and been shut out 14 times. The last time an American League team reached those two plateaus in one season was in 1976, when the Rangers, Angels and Orioles all had at least 15 shutouts both for and against them.

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