O’s Fall Short This Time 4-2

W – Vin Mazzaro (3-2)     L – Brian Matusz (2-9)     SV – Andrew Bailey (15)

I hope the day off on Monday didn’t take away all of our momentum from the weekend. We almost came from behind again but fell short. We were down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 5th inning. Julio Lugo was hit by a pitch to start off the inning and it looked like he was going to charge the mound for a minute. It looked like clear retaliation for Brian Matusz hitting one of their guys earlier in the game. Cesar Izturis tried to sacrifice bunt next but the ball got away and Lugo was able to advance to second base. It looked like Izturis was hit by the pitch on the attempt but its a good thing the umpire didn’t see it because Cesar lined a double down the left field line to make it 2-1. Corey Patterson bunted him over to third but besides a Nick Markakis walk we couldn’t get him in. It was 3-1 when we made our next comeback attempt in the 8th inning. Markakis led off with a double and scored on Luke Scott’s second double of the game. Matt Wieters walked after pinch hitting for Craig Tatum but Lugo flied out to right field to end the inning. Our only other hit was a Patterson single. He also walked, as did Adam Jones. Lugo walked twice in the game.

Brian Matusz pitched well enough to win. The defense didn’t do him any favors. Corey Patterson and Miguel Tejada each made errors and there were other plays that should’ve been made but won’t go down in the books as errors. Matusz got off to a bit of a slow start pitch count wise but ended up getting into the 7th inning. He gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk with 2 strikeouts but the last run that came in was allowed by Jason Berken. Matusz left the game with one out in the 7th and a runner on first. Berken let the inherited runner to score but was able to pitch 1.2 innings without allowing any other damage. His ERA is down to 1.60 after this latest outing and he hasn’t given up an earned run since June 9th, a span of 14.1 innings. His ERA in June is 0.95 and hes been pitching in higher leverage situations. Koji Uehara made his return from the disabled list by giving up two hits and a run in the 9th inning. He didn’t go on a rehab assignment this time because I think the Orioles want to get as much out of his arm while they can since hes so susceptible to injury.

Player of the game: Luke Scott – 2-4, RBI, 2 doubles (17) (.270 AVG)

Game two of the series is tonight featuring Kevin Millwood (2-8, 5.22) pitching against Ben Sheets (3-7, 5.01) on a perfect night for baseball.

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