The Baltimore Orioles launched an inspiring comeback last night but still fell short in an 8-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, their fourth straight defeat.
The loss means that the Orioles have now dropped three straight series, an alarming trend after such a strong and surprising start to the season.
Jake Arrieta and a porous defense deserves much of the blame. Arrieta was fantastic through the first two innings and looked like he might be on his way to one of his typically dominant performances.
Instead, the wheels came off in the third and fourth innings. Arrieta struggled to locate his fastball and also threw a ball away down the right field line to inflict further damage on his outing.
All told, the Orioles finished with three errors, giving Toronto plenty of extra opportunities to put runs on the board. The defense has been horrible all season long and the errors are really starting to catch up with the team. It may be time for some drastic measures to be taken with regard to the mistakes being made in the field.
With the Orioles already expected to replace Tommy Hunter with Zach Britton in the starting rotation, they really don’t have any options when it comes to Arrieta. The Texas Rangers signed Roy Oswalt Tuesday, taking away a possible replacement.
Chris Tillman is a potential option, but he is still rather inconsistent at Triple-A. Steve Johnson has been surprisingly good at Norfolk, but the O’s are skeptical whether he can pitch well consistently as a starter in the big leagues.
The frustration seemed to boil over in the fifth inning when Matt Wieters was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. It was a terrible night for the home plate umpire. You know it’s bad when Wieters is disgrunted enough to voice his opinion in such a way that he has to be tossed from the game.
One of the few bright spots was Adam Jones, who finished with two home runs and two walks to provide much of the offense. Even he wasn’t without fault, though, as he dropped a catchable ball in center field that allowed Toronto to extend their lead.
The O’s will try to avoid the sweep tonight and hold on to first place when Jason Hammel takes the hill against Brandon Morrow.