Arrieta looks to become the first player in Orioles history to win his first three major league starts as he takes the ball Sunday against a struggling Padres team.
Baltimore (19-49) has the majors’ worst record, is 8-28 on the road and near the pace set by the 1962 New York Mets for the modern-day record of losses in a season with 120. The Orioles have only four wins in 22 games since May 26, but Arrieta has been on the mound for two of those victories.
After allowing three runs and four hits in six innings of a 4-3 win over the New York Yankees in his June 10 debut, Arrieta gave up one run and three hits in seven innings of Tuesday’s 4-1 victory at San Francisco.
“I don’t mind flying under the radar,” Arrieta said. “I’m still going to go out there to do everything I can to be just as good if not better than (Strasburg) and he knows that. He’ll live up to the hype and I’ll do my job too.”
“He was working ahead of the hitters and challenging those guys,” Orioles manager Juan Samuel said. “He knows he’s got good enough stuff to pitch here.”
With Kevin Millwood(notes) earning his first victory of the season in Saturday’s 5-4 win, Arrieta will try to lead Baltimore to back-to-back victories for the first time since the team won three in a row from May 12-14 and its first road series win of the year.
The Padres (39-29) have dropped four of six but still own a one-game lead over Los Angeles in the NL West.
San Diego rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth in Friday’s 3-2 series-opening win, but couldn’t duplicate that comeback a night later. The Padres scored one in the ninth Saturday and got the tying run to third base with one out before David Eckstein(notes) grounded out and Chase Headley(notes) struck out.
“We didn’t win, but it’s good to see that we put ourselves in a position to tie the game … a position to win the game,” Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes) told the Padres’ official website. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who aren’t afraid of the big at-bat. That’s the sign of a good team.”
Garland (6-5, 3.07) allowed four runs - all in the second - and six hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in five innings of Monday’s 6-3 loss to Toronto. The right-hander has recorded a 6.50 ERA in losing his three starts this month after going 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his previous nine outings.
Garland hopes he can get things turned around against a Baltimore team he is 6-1 with a 3.78 ERA in seven starts against since 2005.