The O’s (6-9) look to snap an eight-game losing streak when they face the Twins (6-10) in the second game of a four-game series. Jake Arrieta looks for his second win of the season against Carl Pavano, who has allowed just one run on eight hits over his last 16 innings pitched. The Twins will be without superstars Joe Mauer (leg weakness) and Justin Morneau (flu-like symptoms) again tonight.
After allowing a lead-off hit to Denard Span, Arrieta got out of the inning without further damage. This is a good sign so far. Let’s hope he can keep it up and repeat his first start of the season, where he pitched six strong innings and only allowed one run on six hits. It’s important for the O’s to get off to a good start here in the bottom of the first.
A 1-2-3 inning wasn’t quite what I meant when I said a strong start.
As expected on a Tuesday night and in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, the seats here at the Yard are pretty empty. I’d be curious to see how many people would be here tonight if the O’s would’ve stayed hot.
Adam Jones got a two-out rally started after beating the throw on a nicely hit ball to the third baseman Danny Valencia. Mark Reynolds followed with a walk then Matt Wieters drove in Jones on an RBI single to give the O’s their first lead since the eighth inning last Thursday against the Yankees. Then, Brian Roberts drove in two runs with a single up the middle with the bases loaded to give the O’s a 3-0 lead after two. Now this is the type of early rally the O’s needed to finally end that dreaded losing streak.
A great catch by shortstop Robert Andino robbed Span of a hit as Arrieta had another relatively quick inning. He has only thrown 44 pitches through three innings and hopefully can pitch late into this game to give the O’s bullpen a much needed rest.
Well the wind and rain showed its face again for about a 36 seconds, which sent the fans flocking to cover like a herd of wild animals. It certainly looks like there were way more people leaving their seats than there were actually in their seats.
Arrieta got out of an early jam and struck out his second batter of the night after having runners on first and second with just one out. It was a rather long top of the fourth, but I’ll take long innings with no runs as opposed to short innings with runs.
The O’s are being super efficient so far tonight when it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position. They are definitely making the most of their chances, scoring four runs on five hits and only leaving four men on base. B-Rob added another RBI to his stat sheet after knocking in Wieters on a two-out double to right. And the way the past eight games have gone, I’ll take as many runs as I can get.
After walking two batters in a row, Arrieta got himself out of yet another jam after striking out Matt Tolbert and getting Jason Kubel to fly out to left. He has now allowed three hits through five innings and has struck out three while walking three.
Derrek Lee and Vlad led off the fifth inning with back-to-back singles and after an Adam Jones walk, Wieters hit a base-clearing three-run double with two outs to give the O’s a 7-0 lead. An error by shortstop Alexi Casilla gave the O’s their eighth run of the game and a pretty comfortable lead going into the sixth. Arrieta is back out for the top of the inning.
Arrieta looks to have ended his superb night with a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth. He now has allowed four hits and has struck out four while walking three. His night is most likely over, but he gave the O’s just the kind of outing they needed from their young starter.
Jason Berken is now pitching for the O’s and I expect more good things out of him tonight. He has been effective so far this season and has allowed just one run on three hits along with eight strikeouts. I am a huge Berken fan and think he can and will be a very solid setup man for the O’s. As he showed us before he got hurt last season, he has excellent stuff and is much more effective as a reliever than as a starter.
As I expected, Berken had a 1-2-3 inning that was made possible by a couple nice plays from his third baseman. Seventh inning stretch time. Thank God I’m A Country Boy never gets old.
The O’s offense has caught fire tonight as they have already tied their highest hit total of the season with 11 through seven innings.
Some more insurance off a three-run homer from Vlad. Just what I like to see. Half an inning left and an 11-run lead. I think we can pull this one off…
Finally! This was a solid game all the way around from the O’s. Arrieta pitched strong for the second straight outing, the offense hit the ball well with runners on base and the bullpen didn’t let the Twins back in the game. This is just what the O’s needed to get back into the win column. Let’s hope they can ride this momentum for the rest of the home stand and reel off a few wins in a row.
Submitted by Steve Giles