Orioles starters posted an 11.66 ERA in the last three games before tonight.
Jake Arrieta couldn’t stop the bleeding.
Arrieta was charged with five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. He threw 89 pitches, 56 for strikes, before manager Buck Showalter ended his night.
The Indians sent nine batters to the plate in the top of the fourth and turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead. They loaded the bases with one out and Arrieta walked Shin-Soo Choo to force in a run. Asdrubal Cabrera lined to second baseman Brian Roberts, who couldn’t double off Choo because Wilson Betemit wasn’t able to get back to the bag. Jason Kipnis took advantage by lining a two-run single into right-center field, the ball almost nailing second base umpire Rob Drake.
Arrieta couldn’t be blamed for the fly ball that dropped in between Adam Jones and Ryan Flaherty in right-center field, but he allowed a single to No. 9 hitter Lou Marson and walked Choo with the sacks full.
Flaherty’s inexperience in the outfield is showing. He bumped into Jones while playing left field at Citi Field and eventually was charged with an error after the official scorer changed his call.
Cabrera homered onto Eutaw St. leading off the top of the third, the ball hitting the warehouse on one bounce. Cabrera is the sixth batter to launch a ball over the flag court this season. It’s happened 63 times in Camden Yards history. The estimated distance on his home run was 423 feet.
As for Arrieta, he allowed one run in two of his last three starts. Tonight represented his worst outing since he permitted nine runs and 11 hits in four innings against the Phillies on June 8 and was told that he would pitch out of the bullpen.
Arrieta never made it out there. Showalter gave him the start against the Pirates on June 13 and the right-hander allowed only one run in seven innings.
He took a big step backward tonight, just when the rotation needed somebody to step up.
In the last four games, the Orioles’ starters have allowed 24 earned runs and 35 hits in 18 1/3 innings. They’ve posted an 11.78 ERA.
When a team has lost seven of its last nine games, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Update: The Orioles manufactured a run in the fifth on Robert Andino’s leadoff walk and stolen base, and consecutive ground balls by Brian Roberts and Xavier Avery. Then they took the lead in the sixth on one huge swing from Matt Wieters.
Small ball and the long ball.
The Orioles were 1-for-7 with RISP after the fifth, but they scored on errors and ground balls. Good enough.
Now they’re 2-for-8, as Wieters followed back-to-back singles by Wilson Betemit and Chris Davis with his 11th home run of the season.
Wieters hadn’t batted seventh this season until tonight. Not a bad spot for him.
Wieters was hitting .196 vs. right-handers coming into the game, and he was 0-for-2 before hitting the home run. But nine of his 11 home runs have come against right-handers.
Betemit is 21-for-40 to raise his average to .277.
Former Orioles reliever Jeremy Accardo is replacing Indians starter Derek Lowe with the Orioles leading, 7-5.
Update II: Wieters’ ball also landed on Eutaw St., the second time in Camden Yards history that it’s happened twice in the same game. Rafael Palmeiro did it twice on April 11, 1997.
Wieters’ ball traveled an estimated 395 feet.
Seven home runs have landed on Eutaw St. this season, one short of the Camden Yards record set in 2008.
The seven runs are the most by the Orioles since they defeated the Pirates 12-6 on June 14. They totaled 23 runs in their next 12 games.
Update IV: Indians reliever Joe Smith retired the first two batters in the seventh, but a broken-bat single by Davis, a walk to Wieters and Flaherty’s single gave the Orioles an 8-7 lead.
Flaherty has a walk, his first major league stolen base and an RBI single.
Davis has his first two-hit game since June 14.