ARLINGTON, Texas — Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer got his only two walks out of the way against the first three Texas hitters.
Then Archer started piling up the strikeouts. The hard-throwing right-hander got into such a groove that he didn't realize he struck out six Rangers in a row at one point in the Rays' 10-1 victory Wednesday night.
"It's just one of those situations where you get in the zone and you black out," Archer said. "Your hard work and practice takes over."
Archer (8-6) had a career-high 12 strikeouts in seven innings and Matt Joyce hit the first of Tampa Bay's three early home runs. After those two walks, Archer got out of the first when Alex Rios went down swinging to start the strikeout streak.
"When he struck out Rios," I felt a lot better," manager Joe Maddon said. "That was the real deep slider that we're used to seeing. I liked that. "
It was Archer's third career game with at least 10 strikeouts, and two have come against the Rangers. He struck out 11 against Texas in a home game on Sept. 8, 2012, in his third career start.
After Joyce homered in the first, Sean Rodriguez and Brandon Guyer hit two-run shots in the second off righty Miles Mikolas (1-5).
"I think it was kind of nice to jump out in front with the big hit like that," Joyce said. "The guys seemed to be aggressive with the ball in the zone and up in the zone. Just really driving the ball."
James Loney drove in two runs with his three singles for Tampa Bay, which extended its AL record by allowing three runs or less in 17 consecutive road games. Only the 1908 Chicago Cubs had a longer stretch — 21 in a row.
Texas got its run when Leonys Martin had a leadoff double in the fifth and came home on Jim Adduci's sacrifice fly.
Left-hander Alex Claudio, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Round Rock earlier Wednesday when Rangers ace Yu Darvish went on the disabled list, retired all three batters he faced in his major league debut.
Rays: CF Desmond Jennings didn't play because of a sore shoulder, a night after slamming hard into the wall while making an incredible running catch. Jennings could be back in the lineup Thursday.
Rangers: Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of right elbow inflammation and won't start the series finale Thursday as scheduled. The move was retroactive to Sunday, a day after Darvish lost his last start. INF Jurickson Profar, out all season because of a torn muscle in his shoulder, took some grounders without making any throws.
Rookie RHP Jake Odorizzi (8-9) pitches for the Rays, who wrap up a 10-game road trip. Tampa is 5-4 on this trip, and 20-6 away from home since June 15. LHP Robbie Ross (2-4) is set to be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to start in Darvish's spot. Texas has lost 20 of its last 27 home games.
ANOTHER NAME TO THE LIST
Claudio, who didn't arrive at the ballpark until about an hour after the game began, became the club-record 56th different player and 17th rookie used by the Rangers this season. He was also the record 34th pitcher, and that became 35 in the ninth when catcher J.P. Arencibia pitched in the majors for the first time, allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth. He was the third position player to pitch for the Rangers this year.
Between the homers by Rodriguez and Guyer in the second, Curt Casali hit a towering drive that hit on top of the 14-foot wall in left field and ricocheted back onto the field. Umpires looked at replay that confirmed the ball remained in play for a double.
MUCH LESS TIME
A night after a 14-inning game that took 4 hours, 49 minutes to play, the third game of the four-game set was played in 2 hours, 51 minutes.