Arrieta allows homer on first pitch (O's lead 3-1)

One pitch from Jake Arrieta tonight, and the Orioles were losing to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Desmond Jennings hit his fifth career leadoff homer, launching a 94-mph fastball into the left field seats.

Yes, it escalated quickly.

Arrieta struck out the next batter, Kelly Johnson, but the at-bat lasted 13 pitches. I guess it's going to be a night of extremes.

Ben Zobrist flied to left and Evan Longoria flied to right, and Arrieta was back in the dugout at 19 pitches.

Arrieta is looking for his first victory of 2013 He's trying to work past the fifth inning for the first time in three starts.

"I want to see him give us a chance to win. That's all I want to see him do," manager Buck Showalter said before the game.

"It doesn't always follow script, like I've said too many times. Last year started out great and then he had some challenges. Hopefully, he'll get a little better each time out and give us a chance to win every time he takes the hill.

"Kind of living in the moment where he's concerned, and where all our pitchers are. Let's see how good we can pitch tonight and give us a chance to win and see what the next outing brings. We're not sitting here saying this start means this and that start means that. Let's go pitch and compete and see where we are at the end of the day. We're not going to make it any more complicated than that right now."

The Orioles tied the game in the bottom of the first, and it took only two batters. Nate McLouth drew a leadoff walk against Rays starter Roberto Hernandez, stole second without a throw and scored on Manny Machado's double to right-center field.

Machado moved to third with one out and stayed there, thanks to Evan Longoria, who continues to flash the leather against the Orioles (and everyone else, for that matter). The Rays' third baseman made a great pickup of Adam Jones' scorching grounder for the second out, and he fielded Chris Davis grounder in more routine fashion to end the inning.

I said it at Tropicana Field and I'll say it again: Stop hitting the ball to Evan Longoria.

The Orioles scored first in 10 of their first 11 games, but not in the last two.

Update: Matt Wieters homered for the first time since opening day at Tropicana Field to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead in the second inning. He also threw out Matt Joyce trying to steal in the top half of the inning, making him 5-for-6 this season.

Wieters was 2-for-26, lowering his average to .200, before the home run. He didn't have an extra-base hit since the opener.

Arrieta survived a single and walk in the second. He's thrown 40 pitches, 26 for strikes.

Down on the farm, Kevin Gausman has allowed five runs (three earned) and seven hits in two innings at Double-A Bowie. He also committed an error.

Erie's Daniel Fields hit a two-run homer off Gausman in the second.

First baseman Caleb Joseph, who leads the Eastern League with 16 RBIs, left the game with an apparent leg injury, according to the Baysox.

Update II: McLouth led off the third with a double and scored on Nick Markakis' one-out single to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.

Arrieta issued back-to-back two-out walks in the top of the third. He's up to 65 pitches, 36 for strikes.

Gausman has allowed six runs and 10 hits in four innings at Bowie, with no walks, two strikeouts, two wild pitches and an error. Rough night.

Jair Jurrjens allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings for Triple-A Norfolk, with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 91 pitches, 61 for strikes.

Jurrjens has a 2.60 ERA in three starts.

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