NEW YORK — On Opening Day at Camden Yards, Orioles starter Jake Arrieta talked about setting the tone for the season with a quality start.
A month later at Yankee Stadium, it was Arrieta following the lead of his rotation-mates in what has become an impressive and, frankly, unexpected run of starting pitching.
Paced by Arrieta’s eight scoreless innings Wednesday, the Orioles beat the Yankees, 5-0, to win a season series in New York for the first time since September 2010. The winners in that series were the same ones this week here: Arrieta and lefty Brian Matusz.
But oh how things have changed since then. Matusz is attempting to fight his way back to the promise he showed at the end of that season. And Arrieta is attempting to emerge as the club’s No. 1 starter after missing part of last year with surgery to remove a bone spur.
Right now, Arrieta has plenty of competition for that top spot. The Orioles have received nine quality starts — six innings or more, three runs or fewer — in their past 10 games and the rotation has posted an incredible 1.65 ERA during that time.
Arrieta (2-2), who hadn’t won since Opening Day, tied a career high with nine strikeouts and set a career-best with eight innings pitched. The only other Oriole to reach eight innings this season was Jason Hammel in the third game of the season.
Arrieta entered the night having lost his past two decisions in 2012; he was 2-1 with a 4.25 ERA in six career starts versus the Yankees.
He was so much better on Wednesday. He allowed five hits and no walks, and never allowed a baserunner into scoring position.
The only real disruption of Arrieta’s excellent night was a man-made delay in the sixth with one on and no outs. Arrieta went 1-2 to Eric Chavez, who stepped out of the box and called time twice. Yankees’ trainers dashed out of the dugout and led Chavez back to the bench; the Yankees third baseman was apparently dealing with whiplash symptoms and a possible concussion after diving for a ball in the fifth. He was checked out at a nearby hospital.
Eduardo Nunez was called to replace Chavez, but Nunez ran back down the dugout tunnel before reappearing a minute or two later. Arrieta was stuck standing around in the cold while Orioles Manager Buck Showalter looked about as content as a man snacking on carpenter’s nails. Play finally resumed and Arrieta struck out Nunez — with the outcome credited to Chavez — and then induced two fly outs to finish the inning.
— Baltimore Sun