Arrieta, Orioles outclassed in 8-0 loss to White Sox

Jackson holds offense to 3 hits in 8 innings

O's starter shaky

August 26, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

CHICAGO — The contrast couldn't have been any more glaring from the first inning Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Chicago White Sox starter Edwin Jackson threw 12 of his first 13 pitches for strikes and struck out five of the first seven hitters he faced.

Orioles starter Jake Arrieta missed the strike zone with eight of his first 13 pitches, walked three batters in the first inning and needed 35pitches to get the first three outs.

Things never got much better for Arrieta, whose night was over after four rocky innings, or for the Orioles, who dropped another series with an 8-0 loss to the White Sox in front of an announced 23,898.

Jackson allowed just three hits over eight scoreless innings, striking out 10 batters in back-to-back outings for the first time in his career. He's 2-0 with an 0.96 ERA in four starts for the White Sox since they acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.

The Orioles, who were shut out for the 10th time this season, are winless in four straight series and have dropped eight of their past 13 games to fall to 45-83 on the season. They'll start a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.

Trying to stay with striking distance of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central, the White Sox, in taking two of three from the Orioles, broke a five-series losing streak that started when they lost three of four in Baltimore this month.

Arrieta pretty much drained all the momentum the visiting dugout had gained from fellow rookie Brian Matusz's seven-inning, one-run gem Wednesday in the first inning Thursday.

He allowed only one run and escaped a bases-loaded jam, but only after missing the strike zone with 19 of his 35 pitches. Overall, he needed 85 pitches to get just 12 outs.

It tied Arrieta's second-shortest start of the season, and it marked the fifth time in 15 starts that the rookie right-hander couldn't at least through five innings. He has dropped three straight decisions and is 4-6 on the season.

His command continues to be a problem as his three walks Thursday night give him 46 in 83 innings this season compared with 39 strikeouts. He has walked at least two batters in every start. But Arrieta's problems Thursday night didn't begin and end with his control.

The obvious was the four runs and seven hits he allowed in four innings, with Carlos Quentin, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios connecting for RBI singles.

But there were other, more subtle signs of a pitcher who was just not on his game. His tempo was glacier-like as he and Matt Wieters never appeared to be on the same page. The young catcher wore out the path to the pitching mound with frequent visits during the first couple of innings.

Arrieta didn't hold base runners, with the White Sox stealing two bases off the pitcher, both runners eventually scoring.

He also committed a throwing error in the fourth inning that led to the White Sox scoring their fourth run.

Jackson, meanwhile, never gave the Orioles much of a chance. He pitched a perfect first inning, throwing eight of his nine pitches for strikes and striking out two of the three Orioles he faced. He struck out the side in the second inning.

Jackson walked a batter in both the second and the third, but the Orioles didn't get their first hit until Nick Markakis' leadoff infield single in the fourth. Markakis moved up to second on Gordon Beckham's throwing error on the play and eventually stole third base with one out. That's where he stayed as Jackson struck out Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton and retired the hot-hitting Felix Pie on a ground ball to shortstop.

Though they trailed 6-0 at the time, the Orioles had another scoring opportunity in the sixth after Brian Roberts led off with a double. He moved to third on Corey Patterson's ground ball, but the shutout bid stayed intact as Markakis lined out to Ramirez at shortstop and Scott flied out to right-center field.

Pie got the Orioles' third hit off Jackson with a one-out single before the pitcher retired the last five hitters he faced. His 110th and final pitch of the night was a 98 mph fastball that overpowered Patterson and provided a fitting end to a stellar outing.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.