Matusz done, Hunter in, Orioles losing 7-3

Brian Matusz gave up a career-high 13 hits tonight and is staring at his fourth consecutive loss unless the Orioles rally from a 5-1 deficit.

Maicer Izturis singled leading off the top of the sixth and Peter Bourjos slugged a two-run homer - the 21st and 22nd runs allowed by Matusz in the sixth this season, most in the majors. Tommy Hunter replaced him.

Matusz is charged with five runs on 13 hits, with no walks and one strikeout, in five-plus innings. He threw 82 pitches, 59 for strikes.

Matusz hasn't gone more than 5 2/3 innings in his last four starts. He's allowed 16 earned runs and 33 hits in 17 1/3 innings. His ERA is up to 5.24.

Is he in danger of losing his spot in the rotation? Or is it Hunter? Jake Arrieta seems to be on more solid footing these days.

Update: Tommy Hunter just allowed his 19th home run this season, on Mark Trumbo's 18th leading off the top of the seventh.

Angels 6, Orioles 1.

The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the sixth - Steve Pearce singled with a runner in scoring position - but Steve Tolleson flied to shallow center and Robert Andino grounded into a force at third base.

Make that streak 2-for-40 with RISP.

Kevin Gregg is warming and apparently will replace Hunter, who threw 31 pitches in two innings. Hunter could still make Saturday's start.

Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk left-hander Zach Britton was charged with three runs and five hits in five-plus innings, with four walks and two strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches, 52 for strikes.

Update II: John Hester, former Orioles farmhand, homered off Gregg in the eighth. That's a career-high three hits for Hester.

Angels 7, Orioles 1.

Gregg has allowed runs in his last three appearances, on June 12, 18 and 26. They've been spread out, to say the least.

Update III: Say what you will about Wilson Betemit, and plenty has been said on this blog, but he's reached double digits in home runs on June 26. His two-run shot off the right-field foul pole off reliever Jason Isringhausen in the bottom of the eighth inning reduced the Angels' lead to 7-3.

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