SEATTLE (AP) — It wasn’t so much that Jake Arrieta’s right arm gave him trouble against the Seattle Mariners on Monday.
It was his left leg.
The right-hander was hit on the left shin by a scorching line drive by Ichiro Suzuki in the third inning and he wasn’t the same after that. He threw 30 more pitches and never got out of the inning as the Baltimore Orioles lost their fourth straight, 4-3.
“It hurt and started to stiffen up right away,” Arrieta said. “I couldn’t move my toes up or down. But I didn’t want to come out of the game. I gave it a shot and couldn’t get it done.”
Brendan Ryan, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games, followed Suzuki with a single to left and Justin Smoak walked to load the bases.
Arrieta (6-3) got Jack Cust to fly out to shallow left, with the runners holding. But then he lost an epic 12-pitch battle with Adam Kennedy, forcing in a run with a walk.
“He threw everything up there,” Kennedy said. “He was a little effectively wild around the plate, around enough to make you swing. I was fortunate enough there to get a walk.”
Arrieta walked Miguel Olivo for a 4-1 deficit and that bases-loaded walk ended his afternoon after 68 pitches in just 2 1-3 innings. He allowed four hits, four runs and walked four.
“I just felt erratic and had trouble getting the ball down,” Arrieta said, “and just couldn’t figure it out in the third.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who has seen his starters struggle over the past four losses, said, “they are trying, almost too hard sometimes. It seems like Jake is trying to pitch so much instead of just trusting his fastball and going after it.”
Doug Fister (3-5) picked up his first victory since April 30. He went 7 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out a career-high nine in his 49th start. He threw 23 of 30 first-pitch strikes. He is 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA over his past eight starts, but this was his first win in May.
“We’re doing a lot of things that are frustrating, not just not hitting with runners in scoring position,” Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said. “We’re not being as aggressive both in the field and at the plate as we can be.”
Brandon League worked the ninth and Nolan Reimold put him on edge with an opening single. The Orioles beat League twice in final at-bats two weeks ago at Camden Yards. But League settled down and finished the inning on a double play by Robert Andino.
“I don’t really think about that anymore. I analyzed that and moved on,” League said of his Birds’ comebacks. “But now that you say that, it does feel good.”
League earned his 14th save in 17 opportunities.
Cust had the offensive highlight, his second career triple in the first inning, that drove in one run.
Suzuki, steeped in his worst career slump — 1 of 22 over his previous five games — had two singles and scored twice. He has a career .367 average against Baltimore, the best against any team. He has at least one hit in 40 of the last 42 games he has played against the Orioles.
Suzuki greeted Arrieta with a sharp first-inning single to right and scored on a groundout by Ryan. With one out, Smoak walked and Cust followed with the triple. The high flyball hit halfway up the right-center wall then bounced away from the fielders.
His first triple came on Aug. 18, 2007, for Oakland against Kansas City.
Mark Reynolds drilled the first hit against Fister in the third, a solo shot into the second deck in left field. It was his seventh.
The Orioles rallied for two runs off Fister in the eighth. Andino opened with a one-hop shot that third baseman Chone Figgins couldn’t handle. Felix Pie then singled to right with Andino going to third. With one out, Nick Markakis singled to right, scoring Andino to make it 4-2.
Jamey Wright took over for Fister and induced Vladimir Guerrero to hit a hard grounder to Figgins’ left. The ball bounced off Figgins’ glove for an error, allowing Pie to score.
Aaron Laffey entered and ended the rally by getting Luke Scott on a grounder.
“I’m really upset about this one,” Arrieta said. “I couldn’t give the team what I needed to give them. It is real frustrating to go out there, especially after (Oakland’s) sweep and I knew what I wanted to do today. To only get seven outs is pretty frustrating.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)