Arrieta reflects on outing (O’s lose 4-3)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Left-hander Zach Britton gave up an RBI double to Josh Harrison in the bottom of the seventh inning to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 3-1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jake Arrieta stepped outside the clubhouse while icing his right arm and met with reporters. Here’s a sampling:

On how he felt about his start:
“Overall, I liked the outing. I started out very strong. I talked to Rick (Adair) about this a lot and we’ve continued to work, bullpen session after bullpen session, on getting much better from the stretch. It’s pretty funny to see that now, where I am from the stretch, I have to kind of catch up on the other side from the windup now, because everything has tightened up and gotten so much better from the stretch, now there’s a little bit of work to do from the windup. But all in all, today was a good day. I was able to work my way back into some counts that I got behind in and get some big outs, keep guys off the bases.

“First hit to Neil Walker, just trying to get ahead of a good hitter. Threw him a sinker down and away, executed the pitch and he just put a good swing on it. And I think it was a 2-2 or maybe a 3-2 change-up to (Starling) Marte, elevated and it kind of hooked into left field. Outside of that, commanded the ball really well and kept them off balance.”

On making in-game adjustments:
“From pitch to pitch, that’s a big thing for me and for most guys. There will be times that I get away from my delivery on a certain pitches, but if I can get locked in on a 1-0 count or if I happen to locate a pitch but don’t feel great about the way I executed it, I can kind of bounce back and make that adjustment. For where I’m at in my career, I’m getting to the point where I can see those adjustments so much quicker and it’s a good feeling.

“I just think today’s one step in the right direction. I’ve tightened some things up, especially the slider. The change-up’s still coming along. I want to get that mixed in a lot more. And I think next time out, extended a little further, I’ll be able to throw a lot more of those.”

On whether he expected to go four innings:
“Yeah. We didn’t really talk about it much, but I assumed that I’d go four, depending upon where my pitch count was at that point in time. As far as what’s in the tank, I feel like I could go six or seven innings right now. And that’s a good feeling to have, to know when there’s that much left in the tank when you haven’t thrown four innings yet. So, everything is good. Mentally, right where I need to be, and I’ll be ready to go next time.”

On his ball-strike ratio not being great:
“I think a lot of that might have to do with wanting to throw breaking balls early in counts. I just missed with some pitches and the umpire came up to me after an inning and said he missed a couple and he owed me one. So, it’s spring training and there are things I have to work on and get ready for the season, but at the same time, I’ve still got to go out there and compete.

“I think when I did get behind some guys, I was able to come right back at them and attack and even the count and get some big outs.”

Update: Brad Hawpe hit a long home run off Daniel Schlereth in the eighth inning to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 3-2.

Adam Russell will try for the save in the bottom of the ninth.

Update II: The Pirates took their first lead at the end of the game, scoring twice off Russell.

Josh Harrison singled to deliver the tying run, and a fielder’s choice grounder to second base allowed the winning run to score.

Pirates 4, Orioles 3.

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