SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz threw two scoreless innings in his first spring start Monday against the New York Yankees, overcoming a pair of singles to open the game to retire the final five batters he faced.
“It was nice to get out there and get the first one out of the way, kind of get in the rhythm again,” Matusz said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been a starter. It’s nice to work on the routine again and try and find that. Out there on the mound, working well with [catcher Matt] Wieters and the group, establishing the fastball. Threw some changeups, got a couple of groundballs out of it.”
Matusz, who shined in the bullpen late in last season but is competing for a starting rotation spot, allowed an infield single to Brett Gardner to open the game, then watched a blooper fall into right field off the bat of Jayson Nix.
He was helped by a 5-4-3 double play ball off the bat of Matt Diaz and then hit his comfort zone, striking out Juan Rivera looking to end the inning.
Matusz quickly retired the Yankees in the second inning on 11 pitches – seven of them strikes – to complete his outing. He threw 30 total pitches, 20 of them strikes. Matusz's fastball sat at 91-92 mph and topped at 93 multiple times.
“I thought I felt good from the get-go,” said Matusz, who said he was primarily working on his fastball and changeup. “Gardner, he’s a tough out. He puts the ball on the ground. You’ve got to be perfect. He’s so fast. Nix, a little bleeder. Those type of things happen. Nice to be able to bounce back and get good defense.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun