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Here are Brian Matusz's thoughts after his six-run, 5 1/3-inning performance Sunday in the Orioles' 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees.

It was his seventh straight loss, and his season ERA now sits at 9.07, but he feels like he took some steps forward Sunday.

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"Yeah, I've made some progress. Being able to be a little more consistent with the fastball. Signs of good changeups today, but not been able to make the 0-2 pitch or the two-strike pitch, and that's been hurting me, especially to good hitters in tough situations," he said. "Got to be able to overcome that and keep working."

He had a 2-0 lead in the third when he gave up a three-run homer to Curtis Granderson. He then took a 3-3 tie into the sixth before giving up three more runs on consecutive homers by Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher.

"I was battling all game. Felt like I had good stuff, felt like I was in control. Just let the home run ball hurt me, pitches up in the zone," Matusz said. "I was just working up in the zone way too much. I've got to be able to lower it, keep it down. And keep fighting."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter assessed Matusz's start as such: "He got some balls elevated and had some trouble keeping the ball in the park. Kind of took some of the momentum we had away with Granderson there, but he's been doing that to a lot of people. … Brian made some quality pitches, but in this league against really good competition, it doesn't take much to get them back in the game."

Asked whether he thought Matusz had improved at all since his recall in the middle of this month, Showalter said, "somewhat. He made a volume of better pitches, but Brian's capable of better."

Matusz has allowed 17 earned runs in 16 innings in those three starts, but Showalter said he still believes Matusz can reach the potential that made him a rising star in the organization.

"Brian's had some challenges. I'm proud of the way he's responded to them for the most part, and I think he's only going to get better and better," Showalter said. "The body of work statistically might not read particularly well, but he's had some periods there where he looked pretty sharp."

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