Thoughts on Game 4 of 162

Is it time to break up the Orioles? Baltimore stayed undefeated on the young season, using pitching and a key home run to earn a 5-1 victory over the Tigers in their home opener on Monday afternoon.

Jake Arrieta held the Tigers to just six hits and one run over six innings to lead Baltimore to a 5-1 victory on Monday. (AP)

Heroes: Jake Arrieta / Brian Roberts

These two were the biggest keys to the victory for the Orioles. Arrieta added to Baltimore’s strong pitching this season, giving up just one earned run in six innings. Arrieta gave up six hits, walked two and struck out three. The Tigers had a few early chances, but stranded two runners on base in each the third and fourth innings.

Roberts put Baltimore in control as his three-run homer with no outs in the fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie.

Key points: Roberts three-run blast was obviously a turning point in the contest, but the other key sequence came in the third inning. The Tigers already had scored one run in the third and had a chance for more with Austin Jackson on third and Will Rhymes on second with two outs and reigning American League RBI champion Miguel Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera, who it was later revealed had been throwing up between innings during the contest, flied out to left to end the threat.

Stuck on one: Baltimore has allowed just one run in each of its games this season and has gotten quality starts from each of its starters so far this season. Arrieta continued that trend with his outing, following in the steps of Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman and rookie Zach Britton.

In the air: While one pitch doomed Tigers starter Rick Porcello on Monday, he struggled to get many ground ball outs like he is accustomed to. In fact he only got one ground ball out in his 5 inning outing. He gave up nine hits and five earned runs.

Not quality: With the Tigers completing their first turn through their rotation (No. 5 starter Phil Coke won’t be joining until next week) they got just one quality start from their starting pitching. A 25 percent ratio isn’t good if the Tigers hope to compete for the AL Central crown. Justin Verlander had the lone quality start through the first turn in the rotation.  Tigers starters have also given up seven homers this season – three of those being three-run shots.

Looking at the positive: Sunday’s day off benefited Will Rhymes, who went 2 for 3 in Monday’s loss. He was the only Tiger with multiple hits, had his first career stolen base and drove in the team’s lone run.

Up next: At Baltimore, 7 p.m. Wednesday

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