Following the Orioles' 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday, Arrieta's return to the starting rotation lasted just one night.
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Arrieta had previous success against the Tigers, boasting a 1.46 ERA in two previous starts against Detroit, but on Monday, Arrieta was unable to get out of the fifth inning, pulled after 4 innings after allowing five runs on 10 hits.
“I just wasn't very good,” Arrieta said. “That's pretty much all I need to say. I just wasn't very good today. … It's over now and I've got to move forward and see what tomorrow brings.”
Against a heavy-hitting Tigers lineup, Arrieta left too many pitches up in the strike zone, and the American League's best hitting team made Arrieta pay.
“Didn't throw enough quality strikes in certain situations,” Arrieta said. “And that's why they were able to put good swings on certain balls, guys on base. I needed to be better down in the zone. Even though I did throw a lot of strikes, breaking ball was good, changeup was good, that was all good, situationally with the fastball, I didn't command it down enough and they made me pay for it.”
Arrieta, who hasn't gone more than five innings in any of his five major league starts this season, trailed just three batters into the game after allowing a two-run homer to reigning Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, who took a hanging slider into the right-center field stands.
Showalter said that Arrieta might have gotten into more trouble if not for Comerica Park's expansive outfield.
“He elevated some balls,” Showalter said. “He's lucky in this ballpark. At our place and a few other places, it'd been really tough. We didn't get off to a good start, and every time you elevate a ball, they were right on it, but he didn't let it get away from us.”
Arrieta (1-2, 7.23 ERA) hadn't pitched in eight days and had allowed 15 combined runs in his last two starts in Triple-A. He joined the Orioles on Friday to provide an extra bullpen arm when the team's relief corps was tapped during a 13-inning win over Boston on Thursday. But he didn't pitch in relief, and on Sunday, he found out he'd start for Hammel.
The Tigers also had a pair of two-out run-scoring hits off Arrieta — Austin Jackson's single in the second and Jhonny Peralta's single in the fifth. Arrieta's only walk was intentional — he allowed back-to-back singles to Jackson and Torii Hunter to open the fifth, both moved to third on a wild pitch and he issued and intentional pass to Prince Fielder — but a run came into score on Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly.
Despite working Detroit starter Max Scherzer's pitch count up — he was forced from the game after throwing 113 pitches through six innings — the Orioles couldn't break through against the Tigers right-hander, who became the first Tigers' pitcher since 1909 to start a season 10-0.
“He was tough,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said of Scherzer. “I think the last couple of times we've seen him he's been pretty dominant. ... He's having a good year statistically for a reason. He's mixing his pitches well. He got a funky delivery, and obviously throwing a lot of strikes.”
Davis hit his majors-leading 24th homer of the season off Scherzer, launching a solo shot into the right-center field stands, but the Orioles couldn't score off Scherzer after that. The Orioles didn't have a hit after J.J. Hardy's single off Scherzer with one out in the sixth with Tigers pitching retiring the final 11 Baltimore batters of the game.
Scherzer held the Orioles to seven hits over six innings, recording his second 10-strikeout game against the Orioles in as many starts this season.
Trailing just 3-1, the Orioles had an opportunity to break through against Scherzer in the top of the fifth inning, loading the bases for Chris Davis. But after Davis worked a 1-2 count full by taking a pair of close pitches just wide of the outside corner, Scherzer went away again to strike out Davis swinging on a 97-mph fastball.
“He was just coming after me. I mean, staying on the outside part of the plate,” Davis said. “Stayed away with the heater [on the] last pitch. It was a ball. Like I said, when you're throwing that hard and you're throwing a number of pitches for strikes, you assume that he's going to throw a strike. I was looking for a ball over the plate. He got me to chase.”
Detroit left-hander Drew Smyly tossed three perfect innings in relief, striking out three and walking none, for the save.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was hitless in four at bats, snapping his 14-game hitting streak and a five-game multi-hit streak.
Arrieta was optioned back to Norfolk in order for the team to add left-hander Zach Britton, slated to start Tuesday's game because Hammel was pushed back again, on Tuesday.