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Hyped as an AL Rookie of the Year candidate entering the season before falling into the Orioles vortex, young starting pitcher Brian Matusz is living up to his promise in August. He gave the Orioles another strong start against the Red Sox last night, getting the win as the team finished August with a 17-11 record. It was their first winning August since 1997, so long ago that this was considered to be music.

Matusz bounced back nicely from a rough July, likely brought on by this column, by going 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA in August. The Orioles rotation turning its season around is the main reason the team has been so successful under Buck Showalter, with Matusz being the staff's best since Showalter took over.

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Coincidence? Who knows? Who cares? Keep it coming, Brian.

"Fortunately, I've been able to string together some good outings and stay strong," Matusz said after the game. "It's a matter of staying healthy and continuing to push and work hard and finish off the year good."

And how good was he last night against a Red Sox team he has fared well against in his short career?

"Brian pitched his butt off," reliever Jim Johnson said.

I co-sign.

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