Just days after the Baltimore Orioles suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of a community college baseball team, the boys in orange rebounded in their season opener, defeating the Minnesota Twins by a final score of 4-2.
O’s starter Jake Arrieta held Minnesota to a pair of hits on 97 pitches over seven innings to win this afternoon in front of sellout crowd of 46,773 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Ironically, Arrieta’s dominating performance came exactly 20 years after Rick Sutcliffe blanked the Cleveland Indians 2-0 in the first regular season game ever to be held at Camden Yards.
Josh Willingham’s two-run home run off of Troy Patton in the ninth inning ended any shutout hopes the Orioles may have had. It would have been just their sixth opening day and the first since 2005.
Arrieta gave up the two hits in the fourth inning, also walking two and striking out four. Last year, he made 22 starts and held the opposing team scoreless just two times. One of those efforts was a six-inning outing last April against – you guessed it – the Twins.
Arrieta, 26, was the youngest starter to take the mound for the Orioles on Opening Day since a then-25-year-old Mike Mussina did so in 1994.
Nick Markakis also had a notable day, hitting a home run and notching three RBI. Markakis hit a two-run dinger to left-center field off of Carl Pavano in the first inning and also picked up an RBI triple in the sixth inning.
It was Markakis’ most productive day since he drove in 4 runs against the Detroit Tigers on August 14 of last year.
The Orioles are now 37-22 all-time on opening day. Their win today was their ninth in the last 12 years. They are 28-13 when their opener is played here in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Orioles now own the American League East – at least for one day.
Check out some great stop-motion Baltimore Orioles Opening Day 2012 highlights below.
- Opening Day start a first, but familiar for Arrieta (mlb.mlb.com)
- Twins, Orioles Mark Camden Yards’ 20th Anniversary (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Report: Orioles Manager Buck Showalter Names Jake Arrieta Opening Day Starter (tracking.si.com)