Forget what I said about the All-Star break coming at the perfect time. It’s coming at the worst-possible time.
That’s five quality starts in seven games for Jake Arrieta, who held the Rangers to one run over 6 1/3 innings today and exited after 90 pitches.
Interim manager Juan Samuel left himself open to the usual second-guessing when he removed Arrieta in favor of left-hander Will Ohman, who walked a batter and give up a hit. Jason Berken restored order, Alfredo Simon made hearts race by bringing the potential tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth, and the Orioles completed their first road sweep of a four-game series since 1995.
Piece of cake.
Samuel won’t be named the full-time manager of this ballclub unless there’s such a drastic shift, your bookcase tips over, but he’s done a nice job at the helm. Players really respect him - and I’m not suggesting that they felt differently about Dave Trembley - and he’s held this team together at a time when it seemed to be coming apart at the seams.
A rejuvenated offense, quality starts and solid late-inning relief also help.
Zach Britton just tossed a scoreless third inning in the Futures Game, allowing a leadoff single and striking out one. He also threw a wild pitch and fielded a bouncer to the mound for the 1-3 out.