Matusz skipped, Johnson avoided (Tommy Hunter update)

The starter for Saturday’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field is listed as TBA, but Alfredo Simon will get the call. He’s wedged between Zach Britton tomorrow and Jeremy Guthrie Sunday.

So what happens to Brian Matusz?

The Orioles aren’t going with a six-man rotation, so Matusz is being skipped.

Matusz is 1-7 with a 9.07 ERA. Simon has two straight quality starts.

No word on when Matusz will rejoin the rotation. Keep in mind that Jim Johnson could get some starts this month.

Speaking of Johnson, he warmed up today, but manager Buck Showalter let Willie Eyre return for the eighth after the Orioles tied the score. Eyre retired the side in order in the seventh, getting three ground balls, but he walked Kelly Johnson leading off the eighth and served up Brett Lawrie’s two-run homer.

Showalter said he wanted to lay off Johnson unless the Orioles took the lead. And Eyre had cruised through the seventh.

“He’s got more innings pitched than any relief pitcher in baseball,” Showalter said of Johnson. “We’re trying to be careful there.”

Update: Pitcher Tommy Hunter has been released from the hospital after becoming ill during today’s game. It wasn’t anything serious, and he’ll join the team tomorrow in St. Petersburg.

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