Maybe he will now be in the rotation on a start-to-start basis, but after he pitched well last night against Pittsburgh, Jake Arrieta should stay in the rotation.
Arrieta needed to pitch well and did in last night’s 7-1 victory. Yes, the Pirates are the lowest-scoring team in the majors, but they put up six runs the night before and were 12-3 over their last 15 games when they arrived as a first-place team at Camden Yards.
Arrieta struck out five of the first eight batters he faced on his way to his first win since May 2 as he broke a six-decision losing streak.
Arrieta never actually entered a game out of the bullpen, but he went down there the last few games and he felt the change of routine helped him. Exactly how, who knows for sure, but he pitched better and it came as a welcome sight for the Orioles.
Here are some other notes after Wednesday’s win:
* When the Orioles get good starting pitching this year, they win - and win a lot. They are now 15-0 when their starter goes seven innings or more, as Arrieta did, and they are now 26-3 when they get a quality start.
* After going through a stretch where they lost four series in a row, the Orioles have now won their past three series. They also have ended Pittsburgh’s five-series win streak, which was its first since 1992.
* After going 7-11 last year in interleague play, this season the Orioles are 6-2 so far against the National League.
* The Orioles bullpen is another good roll. In the five games of this homestand the O’s ‘pen has given up just three earned runs over 18 2/3 innings for an ERA of 1.45.
* The Orioles have scored 15 runs in the series against Pittsburgh and 32 runs in the five games on the homestand. In that stretch, their team batting average is .291 with eight doubles and nine homers.
* Wilson Betemit entered Wednesday’s game with just two RBIs over his previous 14 games and then went 3-for-3 with a double, homer and three RBIs.
* Chris Davis has hit three homers in his last four games. Over his last 21 games, Davis is batting .350 with seven homers and 16 RBIs.
* J.J. Hardy is 5-for-9 with an RBI and four runs scored the last two games after going 1-for-23 over his previous five contests.