An outing that began looking as if Jake Arrieta was putting things back together again ended more reminiscent of every outing he’s had in the last month.
Arrieta fanned 3 on his way to retiring the first 9 batters he faced. He was handed a 1-0 lead, courtesy of battery mate Matt Wieters’ 9th home of the season in the 2nd.
But in the 4th, things began to unravel. Rays first baseman Carlos Pena led off with a walk, and moved to second on BJ Upton’s single to center. Facing Matt Joyce, Arrieta uncorked a wild pitch, moving both Pena and Upton up 90 feet.
Joyce then sent a fly ball to center fielder Adam Jones, scoring Pena easily. But Jones, trying to nail the trail runner at 3rd, sailed his throw over third baseman Steve Tolleson, and Arrieta, who should have been backing up 3rd base, instead became a spectator. The throw went out of play, Upton was awarded home plate, and the Rays took a 2-1 lead.
The Birds tied things in the 5th, as Endy Chavez reached on an error, and eventually scored on a 2-out hit from Mark Reynolds.
In the bottom half of the inning, Arrieta walked the bases loaded, and Upton cashed in a pair with a double down the left field line. Dana Eveland relieved Arrieta and stranded 2 inherited runners, leaving Arrieta with a line of 4.2 innings, 4 earned runs on 2 hits, 4 walks and 3 strikeouts.
In the 6th off of Eveland, Ben Zobrist led off with a double, went to 3rd on a ground out, and scored when Matt Wieters pickoff attempt bounced off Zobrist’s helmet. Hideki Matsui singled to left, and Eveland was replaced by Luis Ayala, who gave up back-to-back singles for another Rays run. An error by Tolleson gave the Rays a 7-2 lead, and a sac fly from Pena made it 8-2.
A solo homer from Mark Reynolds in the 8th made it 8-3, and an RBI single from Wieters in the 9th made it an 8-4 game. Reynolds grounded to short to end the game.
The Orioles have an off-day Monday, and travel to Boston to take on the Red Sox in a 3-game set beginning Tuesday at 7:10 PM.
- Both Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds had 3-hit games, and both homered. JJ Hardy also added 3 hits.
- Arrieta may be the latest starter pitching his way out of the rotation, and his stats aren’t telling the whole story. Not backing up 3rd base on Adam Jones’ overthrow in the 4th, nearly colliding with Reynolds on a foul pop later that inning, and walking Will Rhymes and Elliot Johnson in consecutive at-bats in the 5th are at least in part mental mistakes.
- Arrieta was not alone in the mistake department. Jones, Wieters and Tolleson each committed errors.
- Endy Chavez bobbled a ball that turned what could have been a close play at the plate into an easy run.