Buoyed by an 8 run 4th inning, the Baltimore Orioles ran their winning streak to 4 games as they beat the Kansas City Royals 9-2. The O's have now won back-to-back series, pulling within a game of .500 at 23-24 overall.
1) Despite troubles with his mechanics tonight, Arrieta continued to battle. The Royals 3rd started with a ground rule double from Gordon, who was quickly advanced to 3rd. Arrieta came back to strike out Hosmer, and get Francoeur to fly out.
1a) Arrieta went 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 er, 1 hr, 3 bb's, with 7 k's. It was the 8th time in 11 starts that Arrieta went at-least 6 innings and allowed 3 er or less. 106 pitches, 66 strikes, and forced 7 grounders. While you would have liked to have seen him be more efficient with his pitches, he was able to work through his troubles to give an effective outing. With the win, he is now 6-2 on the year.
2) The O's 3rd inning ended with Pie hitting a weak grounder to 2nd. What was 'good' was that Pie ran down the line in a full sprint and almost made it a bang/bang play at 1st.
3) Nothing I love more than when Jones goes opposite field for power. He smacked his 4th inning double off the RF scoreboard, and hustled into 2nd beating Francoeur's strong arm. The O's would bat around in the inning, and Jones would knock in two runs with his 2nd hit of the inning.
4) Similarly, it is my perception that Markakis spent most of April trying to pull more balls for power, and that it limited his production. The 4th inning liner he hit into LF just going with the pitch, was an example of why many people have thought he could one day win a batting title. Just a beautiful swing.
5) Scott had 2 hits including his RBI double in the 4th.
6) The Kansas City 4th inning ended with the O's turning a nice double play started by Hardy. In the bottom-half of the inning, Hardy gave the O's a 4-0 lead with solid liner to RF. Right-handed hitters often do not get credited for having a 'pretty' swing, but the Baltimore SS had a great approach in that ab.
7) Pie added a single to move the lead to 5-0.
8) Johnson had 2 scoreless innings of relief.
9) Reynolds had a walk and his 6th homer of the year.
10) Gonzalez looked good in the 9th. (Though he was falling off the mound more than he had been since going back to the Cobra.)
1) Reynolds was charged with an error in the 1st. A difficult play for sure, but probably a play that should have been made.
2) Arrieta was battling his mechanics throughout the game. The 2nd inning started with a walk to Butler. Arrieta's pitch count was quickly elevated. After being spotted 8 runs in the 4th, Arrieta walked Getz to start the 5th. I guess that was somewhat understandable after the long delay between innings, but it made the Cabrera HR worse. That is now 7 consecutive starts where the O's RHP has allowed a HR.
None. Five days ago there was worry the season was quickly slipping away from the Birds. Tomorrow the O's can get back to .500 if they complete the sweep.
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