The Orioles lost their fourth straight game tonight and their third straight series as starting pitcher Jake Arrieta imploded, the defense was suspect, and the bats couldn't overcome the shortcomings of both.
Adam Jones started the beginning of a great night at the plate with a home run in the second inning, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead that wouldn't last long.
After two easy innings from Arrieta that made it look like we might be in for a good night of baseball, Jake fell apart in the third. Brett Lawrie and David Cooper singled, then when Rajai Davis bunted, Arrieta threw the ball past the first baseman for an error. Lawrie came around to score the Blue Jay's first run. One more run scored on a ground out, and the Blue Jays had a 2-1 lead.
The runs continued to pour on on the fourth inning thanks to a couple doubles, a walk, and an error from center fielder Jones. He came in to catch a liner from Cooper and the ball just hit his glove and he didn't make the catch. Two runs had already scored in the inning and the error set the stage for another run to score on a single from Rajai Davis. Wilson Betemit, playing left field tonight, made an error that allowed Davis to get to second, but no more runs scored. Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1.
As Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero continued to mow down the Orioles hitters, Arrieta continued to flounder. He walked the first two betters he saw in the bottom of the fifth inning and after striking out Colby Rasmus, his night was over. New Oriole Miguel Gonzalez came in to relieve Arrieta and was after a rocky start to his major-league debut, he was quite impressive.
Gonzalez struck out the first batter he saw, J.P. Arencibia, then gave up a clean single to right field that allowed Arrieta's first baserunner to score. He then allowed two more singles that weren't as impressive, one broken bat bloop and one ground ball up the middle.
After the last single, hit by Rajai Davis, catcher Matt Wieters exploded on the home plate umpire Doug Eddings. Eddings had been calling a questionable strike zone all night and after two pitches that looked like strike three to Davis were called balls, Wieters couldn't take it any more. Since Wieters is generally the sort of player to turn the other cheek, it was the most interesting part of the game. Eddings tossed Wieters out of the game and Buck Showalter took up his cause, stopping just short of being ejected himself.
With three more runs in and the O's catcher ejected, Kelly Johnson struck out to end the inning.
Beginning in the top of the sixth inning, the Orioles bats woke up, but it was never quite enough to take the lead. In the sixth inning Jones singled with one out and Ronny Paulino, who replaced Wieters, doubled to put runners at second and third. Jones scored on a ground out by Mark Reynolds, and Paulino came around on Chris Davis' 9th home run of the year. That cut the lead to 8-4 as Betemit struck out to end the inning.
The Orioles loaded the bases in the 7th inning but couldn't score, and got the first two batters on in the 8th and then stranded them. They finally got on the board again in the 9th inning on Adam Jones' second home run of the night and 16th of the year. J.J. Hardy had singled ahead of him and came around to score, making the score 8-6. After the home run, Paulino doubled and Reynolds walked, putting the go-ahead run at the plate. But neither Chris Davis nor Betemit could get them in and the Orioles couldn't tie the game.
I haven't mentioned the pitching in awhile, but I have to commend Miguel Gonzalez. After the singles he allowed when he first came into the game, he went on to pitch 3 1/3 innings allowing just one more hit and no walks. He struck out five. It was a great major-league debut and I look forward to seeing him pitch in the future.
To avoid the sweep tomorrow the Orioles will have to get to Brandon Morrow. That should be fun.