Sarasota, Fla. -- Brian Matusz gave up three runs on six hits during his two-inning performance in the home exhibition opener at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday night, but the pitching line didn't tell the whole story in the Orioles' 10-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Matusz obviously wanted to get off to a good start after struggling through a disastrous 2011 season, but the baseball gods clearly weren’t on his side. Of his six hits, one was a bloop single, one was a bunt single, one was an infield nubber and one was a 10-hopper through the infield. He did give up a couple of hard-hit balls, but he also showed decent fastball velocity (91 mph), had good command and struck out three batters.
“I felt really good,’’ Matusz said. “It felt nice to be back out there on the mound and let it fly a little bit. I felt strong. Threw a lot of strikes and attacked the zone. ...The Pirates executed really well and took advantage of the mistakes I made and put the ball in play. But I felt overall I attacked the zone really well and stuck to my gameplan.”
Reliever Kevin Gregg followed him to the mound and gave up two runs on a long homer by DH Matt Hague before striking out the side. It went downhill from there.
The Pirates scored in each of the first five innings and banged around several Orioles newcomers, including Matt Linstrom and Darren O’Day. Pittsburgh rolled up 18 hits, including three by leadoff man Alex Presley.