Arrieta leaves game after recording eight outs (Johnson debuts)

SARASOTA, Fla. - I have to assume that the initial plan called for Orioles starter Jake Arrieta to go three innings today, but he exited with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the third.

Arrieta threw 44 pitches, 29 for strikes, and manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to push him any further.

Arrieta is charged with four runs and five hits, all of them coming in the second inning. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four.

The Pirates strung together three singles and a double to open the second. Arrieta fanned the next two batters before Alex Presley’s two-run single.

Arrieta was spared throwing any more pitches that inning when right fielder Endy Chavez cut down Presley trying to stretch a single into a double.

Zach Phillips replaced Arrieta after two ground ball outs in the third.

Arrieta’s fastball routinely hit 95 mph. He was impressive in the first and third innings.

In his first start, Arrieta didn’t allow a hit or run in two innings against the Rays in Port Charlotte.

Update: Jim Johnson appeared in his first exhibition game today after being brought along slowly because of lower-back discomfort.

Entering in the top of the fifth inning, he allowed a leadoff single to Presley, struck out Jose Tabata - with Presley stealing second base - and gave up an RBI single to Andrew McCutchen. Neil Walker bounced a single into right field to put runners on the corners, and Garrett Jones followed with an RBI double to right.

After pitching coach Rick Adair visited the mound, Pedro Alvarez lined to right to score Walker, who barely beat Chavez’s throw to the plate. Clint Barmes flied to right to end the inning.

Johnson threw 22 pitches, 12 for strikes. He’s charged with three runs and four hits, with one strikeout. His fastball routinely touched 91 mph.

We’ll just say he was a tad rusty.

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