Orioles taking care of Arrieta early in game (O’s lead 5-1)

I’ll remind you of a stat I passed along in my previous entry. The Orioles were averaging 3.53 runs per game for Jake Arrieta, the third-worst total among American League starters.

Arrieta has a 3-0 lead after two innings tonight.

Six of the first eight batters reached against Pirates starter Kevin Correia. The Orioles collected three singles, two doubles and a walk in one inning plus three batters.

Chris Davis followed J.J. Hardy’s one-out single in the first inning with an RBI double off the left field fence. Mark Reynolds singled leading off the second and scored on Wilson Betemit’s double, and Betemit came home on former Pirate Steve Pearce’s single.

Arrieta struck out five of the first eight batters he faced over two innings, including three straight after Casey McGehee’s leadoff double in the second. Arrieta allowed nine runs and 11 hits over four innings in his previous start against the Phillies, which earned him a temporary assignment in the bullpen, and 19 runs (20 earned) and 19 hits in 13 innings in his last three outings.

Ryan Flaherty made a diving catch in right field last night after replacing Endy Chavez, and he just made another one tonight in the third inning.

Before I could send this entry, Arrieta struck out his sixth batter to complete the third inning.

His line so far: 3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts. He’s thrown 48 pitches, 34 for strikes.

Update: Arrieta escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth, allowing two singles and a walk and failing to make plays on two balls hit back to him, and the Orioles increased their lead to 4-0 in the bottom half.

Mark Reynolds led off with a double and took third on left fielder Alex Presley’s error. Reynolds dived into third to beat the throw. Then he dived across the plate on Pearce’s sacrifice fly, pinning his right arm under him as he turned awkwardly.

It looked painful, but Reynolds is fine.

Update II: Betemit homered in the sixth inning, his eighth this season, to increase the Orioles’ lead to 5-0.

Arrieta has tied his career high with nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings. He’s allowed five hits and walked one. He’s thrown 90 pitches, 59 for strikes.

Update III: Arrieta has allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, with one walk, nine strikeouts and one hit batter. He’s thrown 108 pitches, 69 for strikes.

This is Arrieta’s longest outing since May 18.

Pedro Strop was warming in the seventh while the Pirates scored their only run on a bases-loaded grounder by Neil Walker. Reynolds stepped on first and threw home, but Jose Tabata slid in safely.

Now Troy Patton is warming.

Tonight’s attendance: 23,238.

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