Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Arrieta outduels Sabathia in O's win

Jake Arrieta and CC Sabathia both pitched 6.1 innings last night, but Sabathia allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits while Arrieta allowed just two runs on eight hits. Arrieta also walked only one batter while striking out three.

Matt Albers relieved Arrieta in the bottom of the seventh and entered the game in a tough situation -- the Yankees had runners on first and third, one out, and Alex Rodriguez at bat, pinch-hitting for Ramiro Pena. But Albers got two ground balls -- one by Rodriguez and another by Brett Gardner -- to get out of the inning unscathed. Albers, who also pitched a scoreless eighth, lowered his ERA to 4.09. He also hasn't allowed a run since August 14 -- a span of nine appearances. And with a four-run cushion, Mark Hendrickson pitched a scoreless ninth.

So, yes, the three-headed monster of Arrieta, Albers, and Hendrickson held the Yankees to two runs in September. Not a bad performance.

On the season, Arrieta has more walks (46) than strikeouts (44), but he's getting close to changing that and has walked only one batter in his last two starts.

On offense, Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, and Ty Wigginton each had two hits. One of Wigginton's hits was a double. Nolan Reimold hit a two-run home run in the third, giving the O's a 5-1 lead at the time. Felix Pie drew the lone walk for the O's.

The O's have now won four games in a row -- two against the Rays, and two against the Yankees -- and are 4-3 in September. They'll go for the sweep in a day game today as Brad Bergesen faces 23-year-old Ivan Nova. And according to the game preview on ESPN, the O's will try for their first road sweep of the Yankees in more than 24 years.

ROY Watch: Brian Matusz won the first game of the series on Monday, pitching six innings and allowing three runs while striking out four and walking two. The outing didn't do much to lower his ERA (4.71), but he did win his fourth start in a row -- and winning in Yankee Stadium is always a good thing.

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