Orioles starter Jake Arrieta struck out the first two Dodgers batters he faced in the first inning and got the final out on a routine ground ball to second. Fourteen pitches, 11 for strikes.
The Orioles gave him a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Nate McLouth’s leadoff single, a wild pitch by emergency Dodgers starter Stephen Fife, Nick Markakis’ RBI single and J.J. Hardy’s two-run single.
Fife had hit Adam Jones with a pitch and allowed a single to Chris Davis to load the bases before striking out Matt Wieters and almost escaping the jam with minimal damage.
Hardy did some damage with an opposite-field single.
Fife threw 35 pitches in the inning.
The Orioles finally have taken the first lead!
Update: Jones crushed an 84-mph changeup in the third inning for his third home run, giving the Orioles a 4-1 lead.
Davis followed with a single, making him 2-for-2 today and raising his average to .400 with seven homers and 21 RBIs.
Arrieta threw 23 pitches through two innings and 37 in the third, but he only surrendered one run on Mark Ellis’ sacrifice fly. Arrieta walked three batters in the inning and received separate mound visits from Wieters and pitching coach Rick Adair.
Showalter indicated that he may sit a few regulars for a game during the upcoming West Coast trip. The Orioles don’t have another off day until May 6.
Markakis, Hardy, Davis, Jones and Manny Machado have started in all 18 games. Jones served as the designated hitter last night in Game 2 of a doubleheader.
“I’ll look at it and see where the need is, if I feel like there’s a need,” Showalter said. “Guys don’t talk about that much. If you’re going to do something like that, you’re going to have to take it out of their hands. Getting Jonesy to DH last night was like pulling teeth. And after spending the game with him in the dugout...
“I reminded him he was hitting .333 as the DH. Of course, he went and looked it up. It was 1-for-3. When he got the hit, he said, ‘Show, I’m 2-for-6 now, all right?’
“I think its still early. It was tempting to DH Wieters last night in the second game, but I just didn’t think it was smart.”
Showalter isn’t ready to announce Wednesday’s starter.
“If we had to make a decision today, we know what we’d do, but we don’t, so we’ll take in some other things,” he said. “We haven’t gotten committed to that yet. We’re trying to get through today. We could be needing a pitcher tomorrow. You don’t know.”
Tommy Hunter is the 162nd Oriole to earn a save, covering the final three innings last night in Game 2. He’s now tied for 105th on the club’s all-time list.
Let the countdown begin.
“It was fun, it was cool, but hopefully I’ll someday I’ll get a lot more,” Hunter said. “You always want to win, you always want to do well, you always want to give the team a chance to win. That’s what it took last night. Saved the bullpen.
“I kind of had an idea going in that, I throw well the first inning, I’ll probably get another. If I throw well the second, I’ll probably get the end of it. And that’s what happened. Hopefully, the success continues to come.”
Hunter knew he had a chance to pick up the save despite the five-run lead. He was aware of the three-inning rule.
“It’s cool, but we won. That’s basically what it is,” said Hunter, who has the ball from his final out in his locker. “I want to win. That’s what it’s all about. We’ll look back at the end of the year and that’s our goal. And that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
Asked when he’d be available to pitch again, Hunter replied, “Let’s go. I feel fine. I started for eight years. It’s not like this is the first time that I’ve gone more than a couple innings. I’ll probably need a day, but I’m ready to go.”
Hunter still had a full tank at the end and was amused that a reporter wondered whether he was tiring in the ninth inning while trying to put away a Dodgers hitter who kept fouling off pitches.
“I thought I threw a 96-mph fastball, painted the outside corner, on the ninth pitch of that at-bat,” Hunter said. “So not really.”
Maryland suffered a record-breaking number of military losses during the month of March. Earlier today, the Orioles honored these fallen heroes during a moving pregame ceremony.
The Orioles presented the families of Army Cpt. Sara M. Knutson of Eldersburg, Navy LTJG Valerie Cappelaere Delaney of Ellicott City, and Marine Lance Corporal William Taylor Wild IV of Severna Park with an honorary Orioles jersey on the field. Showalter embraced each family member as the crowd applauded.
A moment of silence was observed during the ceremony and the family members were recognized as part of the Orioles Military Appreciation Program.