Shortstop J.J. Hardy turned the second pitch of tonight's game into his 13th home run, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead against Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison.
Hardy's hitting .298 with 32 RBIs.
I still believe that he was worth giving up minor league relievers Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson. Don't try to talk me out of it.
Down on the farm, Brian Matusz is making his first start with Triple-A Norfolk since being optioned. He's allowed two runs (one on a home run) and four hits in four innings, with two walks, two strikeouts and a wild pitch. Charlotte leads, 2-0.
Matusz has thrown 61 pitches, only 34 for strikes.
Josh Bell is starting at third base. No worries about his knee.
Instant update: Matusz has allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. He's thrown 68 pitches, 38 for strikes. I don't have any velocity readings.
Update II: Mark Hendickson has replaced Matusz, who's charged with four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two, struck out three, threw a wild pitch and served up two home runs (to Jim Gallagher and Lastings Milledge.) He threw 87 pitches, 51 for strikes.