Matusz avoids injury - we think (updated twice)

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Brian Matusz stayed in the game and completed the first inning after being hit on the left side by a line drive from Yunel Escobar. Matusz took a few practice throws before convincing manager Buck Showalter that he could continue.

Showalter was late checking on Matusz. He had to dispute the call at first base after umpire Bruce Dreckman ruled that Escobar didn’t run out of the baseline to avoid Brandon Snyder’s lunging tag.

Assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel and pitching coach Rick Kranitz immediately went to the mound, and Showalter eventually joined them. Rick VandenHurk is warming in the bullpen.

Meanwhile, Matt Wieters lost another pop-up, this one in front of home plate. The ball bounced into foul territory and prolonged Jose Bautista’s at-bat, something you don’t want to do with the major league’s leader in home runs.

Fortunately for Matusz, Bautista popped to Ty Wigginton in foul territory for the second out.

Wigginton tried to catch Bautista’s earlier pop-up after realizing that Wieters lost it. First clue: Wieters held out his arms as if ready to take flight.

I’d recommend a few pop-up drills for the catchers before batting practice. Make them all participate so you’re not singling out Wieters. And threaten to hold the next ones during the remaining off days.

Matusz escaped a second and third, two-out jam by striking out Lyle Overbay. Vernon Wells had extended the inning with a ground-rule double.

Instant update: Brian Roberts hit his 13th career leadoff homer, and his first of the season.

Update II: VandenHurk has replaced Matusz. We’re still trying to figure out exactly where the ball hit Matusz, who threw 24 pitches (14 for strikes).

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