The hot left hands

Brian Matusz, who takes the ball tonight in Chicago, has allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his four August starts.

Mark Buehrle has lost once in four starts this month, when he allowed four runs (three earned) and 10 hits in seven innings at Camden Yards. He tossed seven scoreless innings in his last outing.

For his career, Buehrle is 5-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 15 games against the Orioles.

Nick Markakis is 9-for-20 with three doubles, a home run and three RBIs against Buehrle. Corey Patterson is 6-for-16 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs. Brian Roberts is 12-for-36 with two doubles. Felix Pie is 2-for-6 with two homers.

Patterson has a better chance to crack the lineup if Adam Jones rests his sore left shoulder, but I'm sure manager Buck Showalter would like the extra right-handed bat that Jones provides.

More from Jim Johnson's relief appearance yesterday at Double-A Bowie:

"He wanted to concentrate more on his fastball," Baysox pitching coach Kennie Steenstra said after the game. "I really thought he did a better job with that today. He had a better plane to his fastball, got on top a little better and got some better sink. He did throw some nice curveballs and a couple nice change-ups, but he was really trying to get the feel for his sinker and I thought he did a nice job with that.

"He looked good tonight, and if wants to come back here tomorrow or the next day and throw a couple more innings, that's fine with me. He can help us out."

Sorry, Kennie, but you might need a plane ticket to Anaheim if you want to see J.J. again.

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