Arrieta's elbow an issue (updated twice)

Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 13 games today with a double in the first inning.

I just wanted to make sure everyone knew about it.

The Pirates lead, 2-0, as we head to the top of the second inning.

Update: Markakis singled in the third to score Zach Britton, who collected his second major league hit and moved up on J.J. Hardy's single. That's two hits for Markakis in two at-bats.

Adam Jones tied the game with a grounder.

Orioles pitchers are 6-for-13 on this trip.

Update II: Hardy's two-run double has given the Orioles a 4-2 lead in the fourth. Luke Scott and Mark Reynolds singled, and they advanced on Blake Davis' fly ball to deep left-center field.

Davis is 0-for-2, but he's had two nice swings that resulted in loud outs.

Hardy and Reynolds each have two hits. Hardy's average is up to .308. Reynolds' average has climbed to .233.

arrieta-throwing.JPGBack on Dec. 14, Jake Arrieta showed up for the Orioles' annual Christmas party at Dave & Buster's at the Arundel Mills Mall and told a small gathering of reporters that concern over the bone spur in his right elbow was "kind of blown a little bit out of proportion."

You can click here to refresh your memories.

Arrieta chose not to have surgery to remove it after consulting with an orthopedist and getting a second opinion from specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum in California.

"I know some people have my health as a concern, just with that bone spur, but it's been there for a long time," Arrieta said in December. "Kind of went away. It only kind of flared up for that one outing and then went away, so it's really not an issue. I'm completely healthy and feeling good and ready to go."

Well, as we fast-forward to today, we find out that Arrieta's next start will be pushed back to Wednesday because the elbow has flared up and he's receiving treatment for inflammation.

That's why Arrieta left Monday night's start in Pittsburgh after five innings and 87 pitches. And why he's not going to start this weekend against the Reds at Camden Yards.

Chris Jakubauskas goes Friday night, with Brian Matusz starting Saturday and Jeremy Guthrie on Sunday.

Arrieta went 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his last three starts of 2010, walking two and striking out 13. The elbow was fine. And he's got nine victories this season. But he wouldn't be dealing with this problem if he had consented to the surgery back in September.

It's regarded as a a relatively simple procedure, but I understand Arrieta's apprehension. Pitchers tend to freak out a little when it comes to surgeries on their elbows and shoulders, and Dr. Yocum told Arrieta exactly what he wanted to hear, so why not keep the spur and avoid the scar?

Well, as we fast-forward to today...

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