Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Matusz solid in debut as O's win

Orioles' rookie left-hander Brian Matusz pitched five innings and gave up one run in his major league debut tonight as the O's beat the Detroit Tigers 8-2. In those five innings, Matusz walked three but struck out five as he kept the Tigers off balance. He wasn't particularly efficient -- he threw 99 pitches -- but 65 of them were for strikes, and he was still good enough to get his first win in his first game in an Orioles uniform.

Matusz received plenty of support from the O's offense, which knocked around Jarrod Washburn (5.1 IP, 6 ER) in his Tigers' debut. Nick Markakis and, surprisingly, Cesar Izturis, each had three hits, including a home run, and three runs batted in. Markakis's bomb to right-center, by the way, was estimated at 442 feet.

Chris Ray also had a strong performance, pitching two and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief of Matusz. Ray, who struck out two and walked one, lowered his ERA from 8.74 to 7.82 -- so at least that's something positive for Ray to build on.

Noteworthy batting numbers:

Since the all-star break ended, Nick Markakis is hitting .329/.372/.571 -- and that's not including tonight's three-hit performance. Brian Roberts is also on a post-all-star break tear, hitting .351/.407/.500 over that stretch. It's not surprising that the O's offense has started to heat up a bit with those two finding their offensive grooves.

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