A few early notes (w/Rowell update)

Rookie left-hander Brian Matusz has made four consecutive quality starts and leads AL rookies in strikeouts (31) and innings pitched (36.2), is third in wins (two) and fourth in ERA (3.93).

Matusz has allowed just two extra-base hits to left-handed batters this year in 30 at-bats (homer and double by Robinson Cano on April 29). Opponents are batting .262 against him with eight extra-base hits (five doubles, a triple and two home runs).

In his 14 major league starts, left-handed batters are hitting .215 (14-65) with one double, two triples and three homers.

Take a seat, Justin Morneau.

Matt Albers and Will Ohman are tied with three other pitchers for the AL lead in appearances with 16. Ohman still hasn't allowed an earned run. He's retired the first batter he's faced in 10 of his 16 outings.

Nick Markakis is batting .381 (24-63) in his last 16 games, with eight multi-hit games over the span, and leads the Orioles with 14 multi-hit games this season. Markakis had five RBIs Saturday, one more than his total in 23 games in April.

Markakis has reached base safely in 28 of 31 games this season.

Orioles starters have made 15 quality starts in 31 games this year. Last season, they didn't make their 16th quality start until the 52nd game on June 1.

The Orioles didn't have a single at-bat with a runner in scoring position in Game 2 last night.

The Orioles are batting .393 with runners in scoring position In their eight wins and .118 in their 22 losses. They're 7-4 when scoring four runs or more, and 2-17 when scoring fewer than four.

Down on the farm, Triple-A outfielder Corey Patterson had three doubles off three Toledo pitchers last night and raised his average to .370 in 11 games. He's batting .471 during an eight-game hitting streak.

I'm really starting to wonder whether we'll see him in Baltimore this week.

Then again, Patterson is dominating Triple-A pitching, as he should, so we need to keep it in perspective.

The Orioles must decide whether Brandon Erbe is over his head in Triple-A. He's now 0-6 with a 7.20 ERA after allowing six runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, with three walks and three strikeouts.

Double-A Bowie outfielder Tyler Henson was drilled in the batting helmet by a pitch from Trenton's Lance Pendleton in the sixth inning, but he stayed in the game.

Single-A Frederick's Billy Rowell hit his third home run. The ball cleared all three tiers of fencing in right field at Harry Grove Stadium.

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