Uneven outing from Arrieta
Orioles starter Jake Arrieta, who is tentatively scheduled to pitch April 4’s home opener, got off to a rocky start with Pittsburgh’s Lyle Overbay and Neil Walker launching a pair of solo homers in the first inning.
Arrieta settled down after that –at one point retiring 14 of 15 Pirates — before becoming unglued in the top of sixth. He exited after allowing another homer to Walker and a pair of walks, falling short of the desire six-inning goal. It was Arrieta’s longest outings and one of the longest ones by the team’s starters this spring.
“I made a lot of strides,” Arrieta said. “From the second to the fifth inning, I feel like I was throwing like I was in midseason form. That’s a good sign. I just have to iron out some kinks in the first inning, I have to attack better and stay down with the ball. When the wind is blowing out like it was early in the game, you have to be down and I wasn’t down in the first, but I settled in after that.
Arrieta’s final line was 5 1/3 innings of four-run baseball on five hits (three homers) and three walks. He also struck out four. The 25-year-old Arrieta threw 54 of 91 pitches for strikes and admitted that he “got sloppy” at times, chastiting himself for not fielding Andrew McCutchen’s leadoff single to start the game.
“The sixth inning, I talked to [pitching coach Mark Connor] and he said I was getting a little sloppy on my delivery, falling off to the first base side which was causing me to cut off my pitches,” Arrieta said. “That’s just one of those things I have to self correct and try to get back on track when I feel something like that.”
Arrieta expects to get one more spring start.