Can Arrieta be a stopper tonight?

The Orioles have not won a game since last Wednesday at Kansas City. Jake Arrieta started that contest and he is back on the mound tonight for his eighth start of 2011.

The Orioles have won just twice this year in the 18 games where they have scored three or fewer runs. One of those two was that last start for Arrieta where the Orioles won 3-2 at K.C.

Maybe Arrieta will be the stopper tonight. While we all are so focused on the offense right now, let’s not forget that Arrieta may be a young pitcher really coming into his own. Since he gave up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings April 9 versus Texas, he has allowed three runs or less in five straight starts. He keeps his team in the game.

He gave up just one run and three hits over seven innings in that last start. Over his past four starts, the 25-year-old Arrieta is 3-0 with an ERA of 2.63.

The Orioles are 4-3 in his seven starts this year and 13-12 in his 25 career starts. It takes more than just what a pitcher can do to win a game, but those are good numbers for Arrieta. A winning record by the club when he takes the mound.

Arrieta, who has recorded five quality starts in seven outings this year, gives up a batting average against to lefty hitters of just .187 and just .231 when pitching with runners in scoring position.

With all the justified excitement about Zach Britton’s start and the return soon of Brian Matusz, we should not forget that Arrieta looks like a keeper in the rotation also.

He can impress fans tonight by helping the Orioles stop a losing streak.

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