Matusz completes bullpen session

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz threw his bullpen session earlier this afternoon at Tropicana Field after driving over from the minor league complex in Sarasota.

Matusz threw 38 pitches, with bullpen coach Rick Adair keeping a close watch. Adair is serving as pitching coach again tonight while Mark Connor attends his son’s graduation from the University of Tennessee law school.

Manager Buck Showalter came onto the field to watch the last half of Matusz’s session.

As you probably know by now, Matusz will begin his injury rehab assignment Monday night at Single-A Frederick and likely continue it May 21 at Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles could activate him on May 26 or 27.

Brian Roberts hit soft tosses on the field again today, as he did yesterday at Camden Yards.

Mark Reynolds, Jake Fox, Felix Pie and Robert Andino are taking early batting practice.

In Jeremy Guthrie’s last six starts, the Orioles have scored a total of six runs while he was in the game and were held scoreless in four of those six games while he was pitching. Maybe a little early hitting is a good idea.

The Orioles are seeking their 18th win of the season after not winning their 18th game in 2010 until June 15th. They’re looking for their eighth road win after not picking up their eighth road victory of 2010 until June 19th.

Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton won’t play tonight. He’s serving the second game of his suspension. He’ll return to the lineup tomorrow afternoon.

Earlier today, the baseball Hall of Fame issued the following statement from 1984 inductee Harmon Killebrew:

“It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end. With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors’ expectation of cure.

“I have spent the past decade of my life promoting hospice care and educating people on its benefits. I am very comfortable taking this next step and experiencing the compassionate care that hospice provides.

“I am comforted by the fact that I am surrounded by my family and friends. I thank you for the outpouring of concern, prayers and encouragement that you have shown me. I look forward to spending my final days in comfort and peace with Nita by my side.”

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