Apparently, it's longer than the one Brian Matusz wore last night.
Interim manager Juan Samuel indicated before the game that he'll stick with Arrieta if the rookie right-hander encounters some early-inning trouble. No quick hooks here. That's probably a good idea, considering that Samuel went to his bullpen in the fourth inning last night.
Arrieta received a visit from pitching coach Rick Kranitz in the first inning, and a lecture in the dugout while the Orioles were batting in the top of the second. Arrieta gave up three runs and threw 35 pitches. Seemed like a good time for a talk.
Arrieta didn't allow a run in the bottom of the second, but he issued his second walk of the evening. He also walked the leadoff hitter in the third, raising his total to 31 in 10 starts this season. He's struck out 23 batters.
Jason Berken began to warm in the third inning after the Royals loaded the bases with one out. There must be a knot in that leash. It's suddenly become shorter.
Arrieta got the last two outs, but his pitch count is up to 76.
That leash is beginning to look like a strand of dental floss.
Ty Wigginton drove in the Orioles' second run in the third inning, cutting the Royals' lead to 3-2. The deficit is shrinking, and so is the market for Wigginton, who once appeared to be the most likely Oriole to change addresses by tomorrow afternoon.
The Rangers acquired Jorge Cantu. The Yankees are prepared to obtain Lance Berkman. The Orioles seem content to hold onto Wigginton.
Down on the farm, Ryan Adams hit his 10th homer for Double-A Bowie. Jonathan Tucker is 2-for-2 with a triple and three RBIs. Steve Johnson gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings. Newly acquired Wynn Pelzer is pitching the sixth.
Update: Pelzer has allowed one run to New Britain, on Joe Benson's 17th homer, and two hits over two innings.
Triple-A Norfolk left-hander Chris George has held Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to two runs and three hits over seven innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. Brandon Snyder is playing third base again tonight.
Ronnie Welty hit his 12th homer for Single-A Frederick in Game 1 of a doubleheader, and Billy Rowell added his ninth.