Arrieta again faces Twins in Orioles home opener

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 04, 2013
Mlb-athletics-orioles-jul
For the second straight season, Jake Arrieta will face the Minnesota Twins in the Baltimore Orioles' home opener. The circumstances on Friday, however, will be vastly different. A year ago, the Orioles launched the season at home and Arrieta was coming off a 10-win campaign that earned him his first opening day start. This time, Baltimore makes its 2013 debut at Camden Yards after playing three road games against Tampa Bay, and Arrieta finds himself in the back end of the rotation following a dismal 3-9 season that included a two-month stint in the minor leagues. ''I'm much more focused and much better prepared this time around,'' Arrieta said. ''Not that I wasn't prepared or (didn't have) focus going into this last season. But I think my preparation and focus is a little bit more fine-tuned. And now I am in this position and am ready to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and keep my job all year. I think that's what everybody wants and what everybody expects from me. That's what I plan to do.'' Arrieta beat the Twins last April 6, but that was the highlight of a season in which he finished with a 6.20 ERA. While the right-hander will be looking to bounce back from a horrid 2012 season, the Orioles will be seeking to build upon what they accomplished in spite of Arrieta's struggle. Friday's game is the first at Camden Yards since last October, when Baltimore packed the house for its playoff series against the New York Yankees. This is the first real opportunity for the Orioles to bask in the adulation of a fan-base still riding the high from a 93-69 season that ended a run of 14 straight years of losing. For Arrieta, it's a chance to prove he's more like the pitcher who shined in 2011 rather than the one who flopped last year. It's the third straight season he's started Baltimore's home opener - the 27-year-old beat Detroit two years ago - but he's still got something to prove. ''To be able to have multiple opportunities and have the trust and the faith from the organization, the staff, it's a very humbling feeling,'' Arrieta said. ''The most important thing is my preparation and my awareness of the situation is better than it ever has been, and I think that's what makes it more special.'' Will Arrieta be a key facet of the starting rotation, or will he again struggle? ''We're going to find out. Our curiosity is going to be satisfied over the course of the season,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ''Minnesota will let us know. They have a very good offensive team. His next start, somebody else will let us know. I'm looking forward to finding out if guys like Jake are going to graduate.'' The Twins, meanwhile, are trying to get to where the Orioles are. A year ago, Minnesota began the season by being swept in Baltimore and stumbled to a 66-96 finish. Looking back on the tell-tale opening series of a year ago, Twins reliever Brian Duensing said, ''I feel like we actually played pretty decent, but I remember their starting pitching just came out in midseason form right away.'' The Orioles parlayed that sweep into their first playoff appearance since 1997. ''We take credit for them getting off to a good start and sending them on their way,'' said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who believes Baltimore has the talent to make a return trip to the postseason. ''It's a very good baseball team again,'' he said. ''They're confident. We saw that in spring training, too. They know they can do some things. So it's going to be entertaining going in there and playing them.'' It's been a tough early schedule for the Twins, who opened at home against the defending AL champion Detroit Tigers and now face another playoff team eager for an encore. ''They're a good team. They're a team not to overlook,'' Duensing said. ''I think Buck Showalter's got them in the right mindset, and they're all playing together. That makes a team dangerous when you're all sticking together and doing everything the right way.'' --- AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker