Jameson Taillon and three Pittsburgh Pirates relievers combined to throw a eight-hit shutout, while Chris Archer allowed a pair of homers as the Tampa Bay Rays dropped their second straight series with a 4-0 loss in Thursday's rubber match in Pittsburgh.
Archer and Taillon exchanged scoreless half-innings until the bottom of the third inning, when Pittsburgh managed three straight singles by Adam Frazier, Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen to open the scoring.
While Taillon kept the Rays hitters from scratching across a run, Archer ended up allowing solo homers to John Jaso in the fourth to extend their lead to 2-0, and Gregory Polancoin the sixth that made it 3-0.
Archer (6-5) would be liefted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, which would end up being one of the few opportunities Tampa Bay had to score against Taillon (4-2), as Mallex Smith drew a walk after a Jesus Sucre double, but Steven Souza Jr. lined out, and Clint Hurdle brought in lefty Tony Watson, who struck out Corey Dickerson and indiced a pop-up from Evan Longoria to end the rally.
Juan Nicasio worked a perfect eighth inning, and Edgar Santana tossed a scoreless ninth to end the game and give the Pirates the victory.
The loss drops Tampa Bay back to a single game over .500, as they finish the first half of their regular season at 41-40.
Tampa Bay now heads to Baltimore to renew acquaintances with the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. Jake Faria (3-0, 2.10 ERA) gets the start in Friday's opener, taking on Chris Tillman (1-5, 8.39 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 from Camden yards, with coverage on WDAE starting at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.