SARASOTA, FLA. — With bad news and another injury seemingly cropping up on a daily basis, starter Brian Matusz finally gave the Orioles something to feel good about.
Facing very close to what will be the defending National League Champions' Opening Day lineup, Matusz held the Philadelphia Phillies to one run in five strong innings of the Orioles' 4-3 victory today in front of an announced crowd of 8,092 sun-splashed fans at Ed Smith Stadium.
The biggest crowd ever at a baseball game at Ed Smith Stadium watched the Orioles win for just the third time in 11 chances this spring.
In the longest outing for an Oriole starter this spring, Matusz allowed one run on three hits and no walks while striking out two over five innings.
"I was really pleased," said Matusz, who has 12 strikeouts and no walks in nine innings this spring. "I didn't know what their lineup was going to be. I was warming up in the bullpen and they were reading the roster and I'm thinking, 'That's everyone. Looks like they brought their whole team.' I got a little bit amped up."
Chase Utley plated the Phillies' only run off Matusz in the fourth with a one-out single that scored Jimmy Rollins, who hit a leadoff double.
After being shut out for four innings by Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick, the Orioles scored three times in the fifth off left-hander Sergio Escalona. Josh Bell drew a one-out walk and Chad Moeller and Robert Andino hit back-to-back doubles. Cesar Izturis gave the Orioles the 2-1 lead with a groundout and Andino scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Phillies tied the game in the seventh, scoring two runs off Jim Johnson, who allowed three hits, walked a batter and hit a batter with bases loaded. However in the bottom of the frame, the Orioles took the lead on Adam Jones' sacrifice fly that scored Andino.
Jones, Andino and Nick Markakis all had two hits for the Orioles.