Orioles closer Kevin Gregg finished serving his three-game suspension for his part in the benches-clearing incident July 8 in Boston and was back in uniform Friday. He said he watched all three games earlier this week from his couch.
"You feel helpless. I watched every inning, every pitch," Gregg said. "You take it in from a different perspective, I guess."
Gregg didn't leave for suspension on a good note. He entered with a four-run lead in a non-save situation Saturday against the Cleveland Indians and allowed three runs on three walks and a double while retiring just two batters. He had to be pulled, and Michael Gonzalez picked up the one-out save. Gregg said his performance did not eat at him while he was serving the suspension.
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"I guess if I was a younger player you might be worried about it. But it happens," Gregg said. "I guess it would be different if I were hit all over the yard. They only scored because I gave them walks. I was a little too excited that day. We hadn't had a whole lot of wins … and I guess I was trying a little too hard."
Gregg said he threw one simulated game while he was suspended and worked on some mechanical things that he may not have been able to refine if he had to pitch that night.
Showalter not too concerned about Matusz
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he wasn't too concerned about Brian Matusz's rough line on Thursday, when he allowed eight hits, three walks and seven earned runs for Triple-A Norfolk. There were some mitigating factors that led to the disastrous line, Showalter said.
"I think he had a 1-2-3 first inning, and they had some defensive challenges, and the guy that came in behind him gave up some of the runs, too," Showalter said. "Statistically it doesn't read real well, but it kind of is what it is."
Matusz, who was demoted at the end of June with an 8.77 ERA, seemed to be pitching better of late in the minors. So Showalter isn't writing off the left-hander off Thursday.
"It wasn't what Brian is capable of. It looked like the arrow was pointing up a little bit each outing and that one was a setback for him," Showalter said. "But nothing he can't get back on his feet with, real quickly."
Around the horn
Temperature at first pitch Friday night was 104 degrees. That was the second highest temperature in the last 15 years at Camden Yards. The hottest was 105 degrees on July 6, 1999 against Toronto. … INF Cesar Izturis (right elbow surgery) played five innings at second base for the Gulf Coast League Orioles on Friday and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. He is expected to play Saturday and Sunday in Bowie and, if all goes well, could return to the Orioles on Tuesday. … 2B Brian Roberts (concussion) suffered another migraine today and did not do any baseball activities. … To make room for Luke Scott on the roster, the Orioles demoted outfielder Matt Angle to Triple-A Norfolk. Angle was hitless in seven at-bats, but Showalter liked what he saw defensively and said "I think you'll see him again." … Nothing is set on when LHP Michael Gonzalez will begin serving his three-game suspension. A hearing likely would occur when the club is in New York at the end of the month, but Gonzalez could decide to drop it and begin serving before that. … LHP Zach Britton is still on schedule to pitch roughly five innings July 25 for Bowie and then likely will return to the majors for a July 30 a doubleheader in New York.