From bad to worse

Kevin Gregg needed to get one out to complete the sixth inning today after replacing starter Brian Matusz.

It eventually happened - after two inherited runners scored. And after three more scored that were charged to Gregg. And after Gregg had thrown 27 pitches.

The inning began with the Orioles leading, 2-1. It ended with the Blue Jays ahead, 8-2.

Fans that booed Gregg when he entered the game - and I'm talking about the ones at Rogers Centre - were cheering as he departed.

They were pretty jazzed while he was pitching, too.

Gregg gave up three runs and three hits, walked two and hit a batter. He'll take a 12.27 ERA to Chicago following today's 9-2 loss.

I cut Gregg some slack after he surrendered Nick Swisher's game-winning home run on Wednesday. Gregg was working his second inning. He came within a Mark Teixeira bloop double of keeping the Yankees scoreless. But today's outing was brutal.

Before too many fans rip manager Buck Showalter for using Gregg, how many choices did he have today? Gregg's on the roster. He has to pitch, especially with so many one-inning relievers in the bullpen. And he hadn't made an appearance since Wednesday.

Matusz was charged with five runs in 5 2/3 innings, leaving his ERA at 8.38. He allowed seven hits, walked four, struck out four and gave up two home runs.

His next start will be especially important with Tsuyoshi Wada close to being activated from the disabled list.

Meanwhile, Nick Johnson was hit on the right hand by a pitch, but he stayed in the game.

That's a bad spot to drill Johnson, who's had numerous surgeries on his right wrist.

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