Before tonight, only one left-handed batter had homered off Orioles starter Brian Matusz.
Move over, Curtis Granderson.
Atlanta catcher Brian McCann homered with two outs in the first inning tonight to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Lefties were batting .138 against Matusz before tonight, with four walks and 22 strikeouts. In his career, Matusz was holding lefties to a .219 average and 11 home runs. Right-handed hitters had 40 homers.
McCann was a logical candidate to buck the trend. He’s 14-for-29 with five RBIs in nine career games against the Orioles.
Matusz didn’t bunt in his first at-bat tonight. Not with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning. He grounded out to end the threat.
By the way, manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Atlanta that one reason he put Chris Davis in right field was because he had a left-hander on the mound. The Braves figured to stack their lineup with right-handed hitters, who might be more inclined to pull the ball to left field. Otherwise, Davis might have started in left.
Another option would have been to put Davis at first base, Mark Reynolds at third and Wilson Betemit in right, but Showalter decided to give Davis his first major league start in the outfield.
Update: Here’s Jamie Moyer’s line so far against Triple-A Toledo: 4 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts. He’s thrown 59 pitches, 39 for strikes. He used to walk 20 miles to school.
Update II: Moyer’s updated line: 7 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 1 hit batter. He threw 103 pitches, 66 for strikes. However, he was the loser in a 3-2 game.
Matusz has held the Braves to one run in the first five innings, and the Orioles have rewarded him with a 2-1 lead. He’s allowed five hits, walked three and struck out six. He’s thrown 88 pitches, 52 for strikes.
The Orioles are 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and have stranded five runners in five innings.
Update III: Showalter stuck with Matusz through 116 pitches, and the left-hander was charged with three runs in the sixth inning that gave Atlanta a 4-2 lead.
Matusz allowed four runs and nine hits tonight, with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Showalter let Matusz bat with two outs in the fifth and tried to get him through the sixth after shortstop Andrelton Simmon’s two-run homer, but the Braves manufactured another run in the inning and Matusz never recorded the final out.
Davis made a spectacular diving catch in right.