Orioles 4, Athletics 2
There might come a time in the near future when Brian Matusz can
go deeper in games and perhaps finish what he started.
For now, the left-hander will have to be content with doing
quality work in shorter spurts before giving way to the Baltimore
Matusz and three relievers combined on a seven-hitter, and the
Orioles beat Oakland 4-2 Monday night to extend the Athletics’
losing streak to a season-high seven games.
Matusz (1-0) allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings in
his second start of the season. He spent the first two months on
the DL with a strained left oblique muscle.
”Well, I went out there and was able to go as deep as I can and
give the team a chance to win. That’s all you ask for,” Matusz
said. ”Obviously I’d like to be able to go longer, help out the
bullpen a little bit, but they did a great job.”
The 24-year-old was lifted in the sixth after giving up
successive one-out singles to Kurt Suzuki and pinch-hitter Scott
Sizemore, who was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento hours earlier.
Jim Johnson entered and got Adam Rosales to bounce into a 1-6-3
Johnson retired the side in order in the seventh, Koji Uehara
worked a perfect eighth and Kevin Gregg got three straight outs for
his 11th save.
”It’s a lot of fun playing like that,” said Matusz, who has
won seven straight decisions dating back to last August.
Matt Wieters had two hits, an RBI and scored a run for the
Orioles, who took a 4-0 lead after two innings against Gio Gonzalez
Baltimore had lost 20 of its last 24 games against Oakland and
was swept in a three-game series last week.
Rosales homered for the A’s, who have lost 15 of 19 to fall a
season-worst seven games under .500 (27-34).
”Each one it’s something different,” manager Bob Geren said.
”The majority were well-pitched games. Tonight we got two runs.
It’s a combination – we haven’t played well the past week, the
total package. We have to play better.”
There was one positive note: Rosales played in his first game of
the year after a stint on the disabled list with a broken right
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead with an unearned first-inning run.
After shortstop Cliff Pennington muffed a potential double-play
grounder, Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-out RBI single.
Baltimore made it 4-0 in the second. Derrek Lee led off with a
single, stole second and continued to third on an overthrow by
Suzuki. Wieters followed with an RBI single, J.J. Hardy singled,
and both moved up on a wild pitch before Nolan Reimold hit a
sacrifice fly and Nick Markakis singled in a run.
The A’s two errors gave them 45 for the season. Oakland started
the day with the second-most errors in the AL, two behind
Rosales connected in the fourth with a man on. It was his first
home run since July 18, 2010, at Kansas City.
”Obviously that homer was exciting. It got us back in the
game,” Geren said. ”I like the energy he brings and the talent
also. Very nice impact the first game. It was a losing cause but he
was a highlight reel.”
Gonzalez gave up four runs, three earned, and nine hits in seven
innings. He permitted only three hits over his last five
”Once I started getting in the groove I started attacking the
zone,” Gonzalez said. ”It’s just one of those situations –
they’re aggressive, they’re swinging the bats, they just got a
bunch of hits.”
NOTES: Oakland 2B Mark Ellis left in the sixth inning with a
right hamstring strain. … To make room for Rosales and Sizemore
on the 25-man roster, the A’s optioned third baseman Kevin
Kouzmanoff and right-hander Fautino De Los Santos to Sacramento.
… Markakis has hit in 160 consecutive series, the longest active
streak in the majors.