So, that Ricky Romero, huh? What a pitcher. Ick. Yeah, he's good. Yeah, he's left handed. Yeah, some dude in Houston called him "Little Santana." But did the Orioles really have to roll over like that? They wasted a decent outing by starting pitcher Jake Arrieta tonight and ran their consecutive games lost in Toronto streak to sixteen.
Arrieta didn't pitch a bad game, although the lead off home run to Yunel Escobar made it seem as though we'd be in for a long night. After a long first inning that thankfully only resulted in one run, Arrieta settled in. He retired the side in order in the second, and got into a bit of trouble in the third with back-to-back singles by Escobar and Corey Patterson. Luckily, the former Oriole decided to help his old team and got thrown out trying to move up to second on the throw. That's the Corey Patterson we all remember.
Arrieta allowed another solo home run in the sixth inning, this one to Juan Rivera. He started the seventh inning with two quick ground outs, but then walked Jose Bautista. Buck Showalter called on Clay Rapada to face the lefty Adam Lind, who homered to give the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead. Bautista's run was charged to Arrieta, so his final line was 6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Not a fabulous night, but Jake did his job to keep the score close through most of the game. Nothing he can do about the fact that Ricky Romero struck out twelve batters and only allowed three hits. Or maybe there is and Jake just doesn't know how to win.
Speaking of Romero, he mowed down the order through the first three innings, racking up three strikeouts and needing only thirty pitches to retire the first nine batters he faced. J.J. Hardy got things started in the fourth inning, as he lined a double down the left field line, and Nick Markakis followed that with a walk. With two on and no outs, it looked like the O's had something cooking. Spoiler: they did not. Adam Jones struck out swinging and Vladimir Guerrero needed only one pitch to ground into an inning ending double play. Sigh.
Romero allowed one base runner each in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, but the Orioles couldn't do anything with them. He retired the side in order in the eighth inning and looked poised to pitch a complete game shutout. He started the ninth with 105 pitches and immediately walked Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. Obviously out of gas, Romero was replaced with Frank Francisco. After Vladimir Guerrero popped out to the second baseman, Matt Wieters hit an FU single to right field to break up the shutout. With two on and one run in, Derrek Lee came to the plate and did exactly what you all thought he'd do: grounded into a double play to end the game.
Tomorrow night the Orioles will try to avoid the sweep and their seventeenth straight loss at the Rogers Centre. With Jeremy Guthrie on the mound against Jo-Jo Reyes, they might actually have a chance.