SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles increased their lead to 7-2 in the seventh inning on Jake Fox’s leadoff home run, his fourth this spring, and Matt Angle’s RBI single that followed a Nolan Reimold bloop double into left field.
Ryan Adams reached on an infield hit in his first at-bat today.
Former Oriole Garrett Atkins, batting for the pitcher, flied to center.
Update: Nick Green, batting .087 with no homers or RBIs, cleared the left field fence in the eighth. Josh Bell tripled. The Orioles have 14 hits.
Jake Arrieta talked about today’s start, when he allowed two runs and eight hits, with six strikeouts, over four innings.
“I thought it was a really positive outing,” he said. “A ton of strikes. I felt comfortable with all my pitches. My depth on the breaking was very good. Same thing with the slider. My changeup is coming along. I don’t think I could be happier with the progress up to this point. I’m continuing to get comfortable with the sinker in the zone. It’s a pitch that runs away from me at times and I just have got to maintain my delivery as best I can to keep that in the zone. I’ll definitely do that for the most part. Scattered some hits in there, but was able to avoid the crooked numbers and limited them to one in the second and one in the fourth. You are going to give up runs. You want to try to limit the damage and I was able to do that.”
Arrieta said his breaking stuff was the best it’s been all spring. And while he seemed to be working slowly today, he had no problem with his tempo.
“It’s a process,” he said. “Those kinds of things come along as the spring wears on. Right now, I’m extremely comfortable with all of my pitches. The command of my fastball was there today. Tempo and delivery felt really good. I couldn’t ask for more at this point.
“I don’t really look at the results all that much. One thing that I do look at is walks. If I can limit the walks, those base hits scattered throughout there aren’t going to hurt as bad. That’s a big key for me as well as the rest of our staff. If we can limit the free passes and if they happen to scatter some hits in there, the free passes you don’t allow keep you in the ballgame. That was a good indication of what happened today. No free passes. Although they had eight hits, there weren’t many guys on base when they were getting those hits. Just limit the walks and continue to pound the zone.”
Asked whether shortening his stride has improved his command, Arrieta said, “That was a lot of it, but another part was just being more aggressive and not giving these hitters as much credit as I was when I got called up last year. Just attacking them right off the bat, 0-0, going at them instead of trying to nitpick, be on the corners and end up falling behind. I have really been able to continue to tell myself to just be aggressive and attack these guys, not try to do too much and try to stay smooth and easy in my delivery. When you do that, it is a lot easier for me to throw strikes.”