BALTIMORE – Jake Arrieta couldn’t seem to get in control on Thursday night as he took the loss in a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Oakland Athletics.
Arrieta on four hits in 5.2 innings as he struggled with his command, throwing only 62 of his 105 pitches for strikes. The Orioles’ ace gave up three runs in the second inning on a Kurt Suzuki double and a two run shot from Eric Sogard, all coming with two outs. With the loss, Arrieta falls to 1-2 on this young season.
“Today, I feel like I wasn’t very crisp,” Arrieta said. “I didn’t have many offspeed pitches to go to. But, I still had useable pitches, just wasn’t able to throw them for strikes. One of those nights where nothing felt right.”
“Jake almost got through six innings,” Showalter said. “He never really got in sync rhythm-wise. His command wasn’t what it’s capable of, but he kept us in the ballgame. I thought the two tack-on runs were big, the solo home run and the last one on the broken bat. But it was as much a case of us not scoring runs off a good pitcher, which happens.”
The Orioles played what I described on Twitter as “beautiful baseball” in the bottom of the first inning. Nolan Reimold led off with a double, advancing to third on a fly ball from J.J. Hardy, and then scoring on a sacrifice fly from Nick Markakis. However, Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy then did his best to quiet the O’s bats and end their modest four game winning streak. McCarthy would go on to give up just two runs on five hits in seven innings, earning his first win of the 2012 season.
“We didn’t do much off McCarthy,” Showalter said. “He’s pitching well this year. It’s never been a matter of stuff with Mac.”
All was not lost for the Orioles tonight as much maligned reliever Kevin Gregg pitched a scoreless ninth inning, striking out two while needing only 10 pitches to retire the Twins.
“I thought Kevin pitched a real good ninth inning after eight days off, so I was proud of him,” Showalter said.
The Orioles will try to get even with the A’s Saturday night as Wei-Yin Chen is set to take on Tyson Ross at 7:05PM. Chen is currently on a two game winning streak, while Ross has won both of his starts this year, going at least six innings in both outings.