NEW YORK - Start spreading the news: The Orioles took two of three in the Bronx.
It all started tonight with Jake Arrieta’s masterful performance. He shut out the Yankees on five hits over eight innings, didn’t walk a batter and tied his career high with nine strikeouts.
“I thought the biggest inning was the one after we scored the one run. Go back out there and throw a zero,” manager Buck Showalter said after the 5-0 victory.
“Jake was as good as you can be, especially with all the challenges of pitching on the road. I was real proud of him. He was the difference-maker tonight. He never let them put anything together.
“He had a great tempo. The one thing he’s doing early that’s making him successful is his tempo. It’s something that was a point of emphasis in spring training, to increase the tempo, and he did it the first two or three outings, then it got away from him a little bit. He got right back into a real good rhythm tonight.
“Jake, he’s been exposed to enough things that he knows when it’s right and when it’s not. Tonight, it was fun to play behind him. He got the ball down and trusted his stuff and presented a real confident front to the opposition. And he should with the stuff he carries.”
Did Showalter give any thought to sending Arrieta back out for the ninth with the right-hander’s pitch count at 111?
“Thought? Sure, but this is a guy coming off surgery,” he replied. “The effort was obviously there. I thought the double play was big. Thought? Yeah, but I thought the tougher one was letting him finish the eighth. That was his last hitter.”
Matt Wieters homered, doubled, singled, walked and drove in two runs.
“Matty’s in a good place in a lot of ways,” Showalter said. “He’s seeing the ball well, letting it travel, putting a lot of good at-bats together. When he makes them throw the ball in the strike zone, he’s pretty lethal.”
The Orioles’ rotation posted a 1.33 ERA in 20 1/3 innings in this series.
“It’s real unfortunate we had a good pitching performance from (Jason) Hammel, and you have to tip your hat to their pitcher,” Showalter said. “We got deep in all three games with our starters and that gives you a chance. I know it’s getting repetitive, but that’s the key to all teams. And Jake was very good. He had great tempo tonight.”
Are the Orioles becoming more confident with each outing?
“Confidence is how well you pitch,” Showalter said. “That’s the momentum. That’s why it’s human beings. It’s always the case. Are you going to just bleed or what are you going to do, and our guys, I think they understand the reality of each day bringing a different challenge.”
A New York radio reporter asked Showalter the same question he posed to Wieters a few minutes earlier: Do these wins mean more because they came against the Yankees?
Credit Showalter for a solid return.
“That’s not nearly as meaningful as everybody makes it out to be,” he replied. “They’re one of the teams that’s in our division. There’s a lot of significant teams in this league and they’re very good, but we’re just trying to take care of our business.”
The Orioles won for the eighth time in 10 games and improved to 8-5 on the road. Opponents have been held to two runs or fewer in each of the last five games, and nine of the last 10. The current five-game stretch is the longest since June 14-19, 2005.
The Orioles shut out the Yankees in the Bronx for the first time since Aug. 14, 2007.
Arrieta became the first Orioles’ starter to go at least eight innings without allowing a run to the Yankees since Sidney Ponson on Sept. 4, 2004 at Yankee Stadium.