Orioles' bats quiet in 5-0 loss to Twins

Club manages just three hits for fifth loss in six games

Matusz has 6 K's in 2 2/3 innings

March 09, 2010|By Peter Schmuck

SARASOTA, Fla. — - The Orioles ran into a string of fine pitching performances by the Minnesota Twins on Monday and managed just three hits in a 5-0 loss at Ed Smith Stadium.

Starter Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn each pitched three innings, gave up a hit and a walk and struck out two.

The Twins scored two runs off Orioles starting pitcher Brian Matusz in the top of the first inning, all they would need to send the Orioles to their fifth loss in six Grapefruit League exhibition games.

Matusz worked 2 2/3 innings and allowed three hits, but he continued to overpower hitters with his fastball and changeup. He struck out six batters and has 10 strikeouts in just four innings.

"I felt good today," Matusz said. "I felt real good. I thought I pounded the zone just like I wanted to today. ... The fastball in and out was excellent today. I threw some effective changeups. I felt comfortable out there. Everything felt good."

Closer Mike Gonzalez made his second exhibition appearance and threw a scoreless inning, though he needed a double relay from center field to cut down a potential run at the plate in the fourth.

"I definitely worked on some things this time as opposed to last time," he said. "I was very high, I missed down in the zone, so that's a lot better for me. I got another base on balls, but I missed down and I worked on some pitches. I worked on my changeup a few more times this inning, so overall it was a positive day for me."

For a box score on Monday's exhibition game, go to baltimoresun.com/mlbscores

On deck
Chris Tillman, who pitched two perfect innings in his Grapefruit League debut Friday, will make his second start today against the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium. Cla Meredith, Dennis Sarfate and Alberto Castillo are also scheduled to pitch for the Orioles. Right-hander Jeff Niemann will start for Tampa Bay after facing the Orioles in his previous outing in Port Charlotte.

- Jeff Zrebiec

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