ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jake Arrieta kept struggling. So did the Baltimore Orioles.
B.J. Upton hit a tiebreaking two-run double, Matt Moore won for the first time after losing four straight decisions and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Arrieta and the Orioles 8-4 Sunday.
Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds homered for the Orioles, who have lost seven of eight. Arrieta, 0-5 over his last six starts, gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
“I’m not pitching well right now, there’s no doubt about that,” said Arrieta, who is 2-7 this season. “I’ve had several
games this year where it’s obvious I can pitch consistently at this level, so I think the staff is probably frustrated because they see that type of stuff and then they see three outings where I’m out in the fifth inning. I’m going to take it upon myself to make the adjustment.”
The Orioles dropped two of three to Tampa Bay, and trail the AL East-leading Rays by one game.
“As frustrating as it is to have seven losses, we’re a game out of first place,” Arrieta said. “If I quickly turn this around,
that’s going to be very good for our ballclub. That’s the way I look at it.”
Arrieta threw just 41 of 83 pitches for strikes, contributing to the four walks and two hits he allowed.
“I think it is probably getting frustrating because he knows what kind of ability he has,” catcher Wieters said of Arrieta.
“The hard thing about being a starting pitcher is you have four days before you get back out there on the mound, as opposed to position players who get out there every day. But he’ll keep working and try and figure it out.”
Upton gave the Rays a 4-2 lead with a two-out hit off Arrieta in the fifth. Arrieta walked three during the inning.
“A clutch hit,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Moore (2-5) allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings. The left-hander had four losses in five starts since beating
Seattle on May 1.
The Rays extended the lead to 8-2 during a four-run sixth, aided by a pair of errors.
Wieters made an errant throw from behind the plate attempting to pick off Ben Zobrist at third. After Elliot Johnson hit an RBI single, another run scored when third baseman Steve Tolleson misplayed Jose Molina’s grounder. Carlos Pena added a sacrifice fly.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Matt Joyce drove in Pena with a sacrifice fly. Upton also scored from second on the play when Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones made a bad throw attempting to get Upton out at third.
Nick Johnson pinch hit for Jones, who was hit on the left wrist by a pitched ball Wednesday, in the ninth.
“I didn’t want to take a chance, especially as banged up as we are,” Showalter said.
Reynolds tied it at 2 on an RBI single in the fifth. He also had an eighth-inning solo shot.
Wieters put the Orioles up 1-0 on a second-inning leadoff homer. Baltimore then failed to score any additional runs despite having two on with no outs. Steve Pearce hit a fly ball and both Tolleson and Robert Andino struck out.
Wieters also had a run-scoring hit in the ninth. He went 6 for 12 in the series after a 3 for 42 stretch.
NOTES: Orioles INF Wilson Betemit was out of the lineup because of a fever. … Baltimore RHP Jason Hammel (6-2) and Boston LHP Jon Lester (3-4) are scheduled starters for Tuesday night’s game at Fenway Park. … The Orioles purchased the contract of RHP Steve Johnson and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. To make room for Johnson on the 40-man roster, LHP Zach Britton (left shoulder) was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day one.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)