Jake Arrieta struggles again as the Orioles lose to the Angels

There are brutal losses. There are ugly losses. Then there are losses like Thursday's defeat for the Orioles. The Angels starter, Garrett Richards, gave up three homers and seven runs in just 4 1/3 innings and his team won.

The Angels improved to 28-12 since May 21 with a 9-7 victory over the Orioles in Game 1 of a four-game series.

Orioles starter Jake Arrieta's outing was both brutal and ugly. Arrieta was given early leads of 4-1 and 7-3 and faltered each time. Each time his offense got him a lead, he walked the first batter of the next inning.

On the night, Arrieta gave up five hits and six runs (all earned) over 3 2/3. That is his second start in a row of just 3 2/3. In those two outings, he has allowed 13 hits and 11 runs. This followed a three-start stretch where he pitched to an ERA of 2.70. But, he is back to struggling again.

arrieta head down grey sidebar.jpgArrieta went to the mound in the fourth with a 7-3 lead, but the Angels then scored five runs off him and Luis Ayala to get the lead, and then they didn't give it back.

This was a game where the Orioles scored seven runs in the first four innings, but the offense dried up after that. Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer as part of a four-RBI night. Mark Reynolds and Ryan Flaherty hit back-to-back homers in the second inning.

But, on a night where the Orioles scored more than five runs for just the second time in the last 18 games and had early leads of three and four runs, they still didn't win.

With the loss, the Orioles fall to 44-38, and they have lost for the seventh time in the last ten games and are 5-11 over the past 16 games. They fall to 5 1/2 games behind first-place New York, who had the day off.

The Orioles are now just 1-5 this year against the Angels and now must face C.J. Wilson (9-4, 2.33 ERA) and Jered Weaver (9-1, 2.13 ERA) the next two days.

Update: After the game the Orioles announced that they are sending Arrieta to the minors. He has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Arrieta is 3-9 with a 6.13 ERA in 18 starts.

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