Orioles 7, Angels 9: If You Take Away the Bottom of the Fourth, the O's win!

Jake Arrieta blew it. Given a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the 4th inning, Arrieta gave up five runs to give the Angels a 8-7 lead. Arrieta threw his typical arsenal of pitches - fastball, cutter, and curve. Unfortunately, his fastball isn't capable of retiring major league hitters. The Angels treated it like a red headed step child while laying off his breaking stuff. His curve and cutters possessed swing and miss potential, but I don't think Arrieta quite has the confidence to locate these pitches consistently. As a result, Arrieta used his fastball a lot and it must have looked like a beach ball to the hitters given the results. Luis Ayala relieved Arrieta in the 4th inning and proceeded to give up three more singles and three runs (aided by a misplay by X), thus continuing his inability to strand inherited runners. The Angels tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth when Mike Trout Bugs Bunnied his way around the bases. In addition, Trout fought off a nice inside pitch in the first inning for a bloop single and then stole a base before scoring off a single by Kendry Morales. At this point, I long for the days of Vernon Wells because the O's might have won if he had played instead of Trout.

Arrieta's poor performance unfortunately wasted a strong effort by the O's offense. Garrett Richards, a sinkerballer, left a couple of pitches up to Mark Reynolds and Ryan Flaherty which led to back to back home runs in the second inning. Wieters then dropped a three run bomb in the fourth inning. The home run should have been a grand slam but Flaherty was called out erroneously at third base when trying to reach third off a single by X. Add in RBIs by Jim Thome and Wieters, and the O's scored 7 runs. After the O's knocked out Richards in the fifth inning, the reanimated corpses of LaTroy Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen along with Kevin Jepsen and Scott Downs shut down the O's until Ernesto Fiero earned the save in the 9th. Luckily, the Rays lost as well so the O's still hold a slim lead for the second wild card spot. With CJ Wilson and Jared Weaver on the bump this weekend, Miguel Gonzalez better get his crap together tomorrow night.

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