The Orioles continued their miserable west coast trip with a loss in Seattle. The score indicates that the game was close, but it certainly didn't feel that way. The Orioles couldn't get anything going against Doug Fister until the eighth inning, as the Mariners' starter racked up nine strikeouts in 7.1 innings. On the other hand, Jake Arrieta couldn't get out of the third inning against one of the lousiest offenses in baseball.
Arrieta has had trouble all season with throwing too many pitches, and today was no different. He went to a three-ball count to the first three batters he faced, starting with Ichiro Suzuki, who singled to start the bottom of the first inning. Ichiro stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Matt Wieters. Suzuki scored on a ground out by Brendan Ryan, then Arrieta walked Justin Smoak in front of Jack Cust, who tripled. That made the score 2-0, and while Arrieta retired the next two batters, he'd thrown twenty-five pitches.
After a 1-2-3 inning that made it seem like maybe Arrieta had settled down, he proved that he hadn't in the third inning, where he only recorded one out before getting pulled from the game.
Ichiro started the third inning for the M's and hit a ball that deflected off of Jake's shin. He reached first on the infield single, and Jake threw a few pitches before deciding he could could continue. Ryan singled, then Smoak walked again to load the bases. After Cust popped out to shallow left, Arrieta walked in two runs. It was not pretty, and Buck Showalter replaced him with Alfredo Simon. Simon struck out Carlos Peguero and Chone Figgins to end the inning.
Simon had a good day on the mound for the Orioles. Michael Saunders singled to start the fourth inning, but Wieters got some of his mojo back by throwing him out trying to steal. Simon got through the sixth inning allowing just one more hit (a single by Cust, who was erased on a double play) and one walk. He was replaced by Pedro Viola, who retired all five batters he faced. Jim Johnson came in with two outs in the eighth and struck out Miguel Olivo.
Meanwhile, the O's offense was just as lousy as you've come to expect. Mark Reynolds got the Orioles on the board in the third inning with a home run to left field. After that the Orioles rolled over until the eighth inning, when they scored two more runs.
Robert Andino and Felix Pie started the eighth inning with back-to-back singles, and after J.J. Hardy struck out, Nick Markakis singled to right field on a ground ball that second baseman Adam Kennedy just couldn't get to. Andino scored, and Fister was replaced with Jamey Wright. Wright got Vladimir Guerrero to hit a ground ball to third, but Figgins booted the ball and Pie scored to make the score 4-3. The O's had two on and only one down, but neither Wieters nor Luke Scott could knock in the winning run.
Brandon League came in to pitch the ninth inning, and as someone who remembered the blown saves when the Mariners were in Baltimore, I felt a glimmer of hope. Nolan Reimold kept that glimmer alive with a leadoff single, but that was all the Orioles would get.
So now the O's losing streak has reached four, as they weren't interested in remaining a .500 team. If they want to keep that streak from reaching five, tomorrow Jeremy Guthrie will have to out pitch Erik Bedard.