Baltimore, MD – Jake Arrieta tossed seven shutout innings and the Baltimore Orioles celebrated the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in the season opener for both clubs on Friday.
Arrieta (1-0) yielded just two hits while fanning four and walking two batters in his first career Opening Day start.
"He was really good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his starter. "I thought he kept his emotions under control and trusted his fastball, which is still the best pitch in the game."
Jim Johnson got the final two outs in the top of the ninth to earn his first save of 2012.
Nick Markakis led the offensive charge for the O's, going 2-for-3 with a two- run home run, three RBI, and two runs scored while Matt Wieters knocked in the other run on an RBI groundout.
The Orioles look to rebound from a poor 2011 campaign in which they went 69-93 and finished last in the AL East.
Carl Pavano (0-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on five hits over seven full frames.
Josh Willingham crushed a two-run homer for the Twins, who finished last in the AL Central a year ago with a 63-99 mark, their worst record since losing 102 games in 1982.
Pavano got his season off to a good start by getting Nolan Reimold to groundout, but followed it up by walking J.J. Hardy, and on the next hitter, Markakis was served a fastball right down the heart of the plate and he rocketed it the other way into the left field seats to put Baltimore up 2-0.
Baltimore extended its lead to 3-0 in the home half of the fourth after Markakis worked a leadoff walk and Adam Jones followed with a double to left to put men on second and third. Wieters then brought home Markakis with an RBI groundout to shortstop.
Hardy got the Orioles offense going again in the sixth when he led off the frame with a single through the hole into left field. Markakis then drove home Hardy when he hammered a changeup from Pavano off the wall in right-center field for a triple to make it 4-0.
The Twins made it interesting in the top of the ninth when Joe Mauer coaxed a leadoff walk from Orioles' reliever Troy Patton and Willingham followed two batters later by launching a changeup into the left field seats.
Johnson was brought in from the bullpen and fanned Ryan Doumit, but walked Danny Valencia and served up a single to Chris Parmelee before inducing a groundout from Trevor Plouffe to end the ball game.
Mauer and Justin Morneau, both of whom missed significant time last season, were in the lineup on Friday and combined to go 1-for-6 at the plate with two strikeouts...Camden Yards opened on April 6, 1992. In that game, Rick Sutcliffe threw a shutout against the Cleveland Indians...Baltimore improved to 28-13 on Opening Day games in Baltimore and 13-4 in Opening Day games in Camden Yards...The Orioles took the season series with the Twins last season, 6-2...Minnesota went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven.