If Orioles manager Buck Showalter was waiting for Jake Arrieta to pitch his way out of his funk, he found out it wasn’t going to happen Friday night at Camden Yards. He just didn’t find out early enough.
Arrieta’s woes not only continued, but multiplied against the Phillies. Hard to believe, considering he’d come in pitching to an ERA approaching 8 in his previous 6 starts. If there was any question whether things could get any worse for Arrieta, a 6-run Phillies 2nd answered it.
With the Orioles already trailing 1-0, former Orioles farmhand Mike Fontenot hit his first home run of the season, a 1 out, 2-run shot to left. An out later, Juan Pierre hit a triple on a ball that Adam Jones misread. Hunter Pence was hit by an Arrieta pitch, and Jim Thome followed with a run-scoring ground rule double that right fielder Ryan Flaherty appeared to take a bad route on. Shane Victorino doubled home Pence and Thome, and Victorino was plated on a single from Carlos Ruiz, for a 7-0 Phillies lead.
The Orioles picked up 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Chris Davis’ single delivered Matt Wieters, who’d led off with a double. Wilson Betemit struck out, Mark Reynolds walked, and Flaherty went down on strikes. On a 3-2 pitch, and with the runners on the move, Robert Andino ripped a double down the left field line, scoring both Davis and Reynolds, making it 7-3.
Meanwhile, Showalter stuck with Arrieta, who looked great in the 3rd, fanning John Mayberry, Fontenot, and Jimmy Rollins in order. In the 4th, things again started well, as Arrieta got Pierre and Pence to start the inning. Thome doubled, and Victorino hit a 2-run homer on a hanging curve, making it 9-3. Arrieta was pulled after the 4th, charged with allowing a career-worst 9 earned runs. He gave up 11 hits and 2 home runs in 4 innings.
Davis led off the Orioles 4th with his 10th home run of the year. JJ Hardy added his 11th home run in the 7th, a 2-run shot to left, pulling the Orioles to within 3, at 9-6.
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, appearing at Camden Yards for the first time since Robert Andino ended the Red Sox season with a walk-off hit against him last year, came on in the 9th. This time, Papelbon slammed the door with little drama, picking up his 16th save.
The Orioles and Phillies play game 2 of the 3-game weekend set Saturday afternoon. Tommy Hunter will be recalled from Norfolk to make the start, against Vance Worley for the Phils. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05.
- The offense, down 7-0, then 9-3, kept fighting. Multi-hit games from Endy Chavez, Wieters, and Davis. Home runs from Davis and Hardy.
- The bullpen continues to be the one consistent on this team. Dana Eveland, Kevin Gregg, and Luis Ayala combined for 5 innings of shutout, 1-hit ball, with 6 strikeouts.
- Jake Arrieta’s performance continues to be so bad, it’s staggering. He can’t pitch from the stretch. He struggles to get out #3 (the Phillies scored 7 of their 9 runs with 2 outs Friday). He can’t avoid big innings. With a roster move coming before first pitch Saturday, he certainly appears to be headed to Norfolk to try to get himself straightened out.
- The defense again is not helping. Handling a hot comebacker in the 1st could have allowed Arrieta to escape the inning unscathed. Jones misread Pierre’s triple in the 6-run second. Flaherty took a bad route on Thome’s ground rule double. Wieters committed his 7th error of the season.
- Shane Victorino finished with 5 RBIs, and was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
- Too many Philadelphia fans with too much to be loud about at Camden Yards.