BALTIMORE -- If this was indeed Jake Arrieta's final outing of the season, the rookie will probably savor his performance against the Toronto Blue Jays deep into the winter.
Arrieta allowed four hits over six shutout innings, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat Toronto 11-3 on Tuesday night to win a fourth straight series for the first time since 2004.It was the most lopsided victory of the season for the Orioles, who have won twice to begin the three-game set. Baltimore was 0-12 against Toronto at the outset of the series.Arrieta (6-6) struck out five and walked one. He had only one perfect inning, but the Blue Jays were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position while he was in the game.It was the first time in 18 career starts the right-hander did not give up a run. Afterward, manager Buck Showalter was asked if it might be time to shut down Arrieta, who's already thrown more than 22 innings more than his previous season high as a professional."He's about 20-plus over, so that's a real quality question," Showalter said.Arrieta wasn't warm to the idea of hitting the bench until next spring."I definitely don't want to be shut down. The rest of the guys are going to be here working for the last two or three weeks of the season and I want to be doing the same thing," he said. "But anytime you finish the season you want to finish on a high note. If something like that were to happen, an outing like this is a good one to end on."The Orioles led 3-0 before pulling away with a six-run seventh inning. Jones and Matt Wieters hit RBI singles before Robert Andino capped the uprising with a three-run double.Toronto's Aaron Hill homered off Pedro Viola with two on in the eighth, and Jones answered with a two-run drive in the bottom half.After taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers, Baltimore has four successive series wins for the first time since August 2004. The Orioles are 25-15, including 15-8 at home, since Showalter made his debut in the dugout on Aug. 3."Everybody is having fun, everybody is loosening up," Andino said."I think we've really turned the corner as a team, defensively, offensively, our starters, our bullpen," Arrieta said. "The players, we're the ones out there getting the job done. But Buck deserves a lot of credit for the things he's done with this team."Although Toronto extended its run of consecutive games with a homer to 16, that was the highlight of an otherwise dreary night. The Blue Jays have lost six of seven and now stand at one game over .500 (73-72) for the first time since July 25."The bullpen just didn't pick us up, plus we didn't hit the ball, either," manager Cito Gaston said. "We're not really swinging the bats well. We haven't swung them well for the last three ball games; not like we did in the past."In his second start since returning from elbow ligament replacement surgery, Shawn Hill (0-2) gave up three runs, two earned, and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings."Curveball is nonexistent, which I certainly have to work on before my next start," he said. "Overall, velocity was there. There were certain things that were there. I'm still a ways from being where I want to be."Baltimore went up 1-0 in the fourth when Luke Scott hit a leadoff double and scored on a single by Felix Pie.In the fifth, after Markakis hit his 10th homer, Ty Wigginton singled and took second on a throwing error by catcher John Buck. Pie then bounced an RBI single up the middle.Much of the damage in the Baltimore's big seventh inning came against right-hander Josh Roenicke, who yielded four runs, three hits and a walk without getting an out. He also made an error.Roenicke's father, Gary, played for the Orioles from 1978-85 and now is a scout for the team.
Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion and Baltimore's Josh Bell both struck out three times. ... Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz, who left Monday's game with a bruised left triceps, did not throw Tuesday. Showalter said that at worst, Matusz would miss one start. ... Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, who was hit by a pitch above his right knee Monday night, did not play.