Matusz looking to end interleague streak

Left-hander Brian Matusz is starting tonight for the Orioles after being pushed back two days following his bunting mishap, and he’s got a score to settle with the National League.

Matusz has never faced the Braves, but he’s 0-5 with a 7.49 ERA in six career interleague starts, with 28 earned runs allowed in 33 2/3 innings. He’s also hitless in four major league at-bats.

It’s probably safe to assume that Matusz isn’t a huge fan of interleague baseball. That’s most definitely true of manager Buck Showalter, who will lose his designated hitter for the next six games and pray that he doesn’t lose one of his hitting-challenged pitchers to an injury.

Matusz kept taking batting practice with his teammates this week after being smacked in the nose Tuesday afternoon while trying to bunt off a pitching machine.

brian-matusz-hat-sidebar.jpgThe Braves are sending Tommy Hanson to the mound tonight. In his only previous start against the Orioles, he allowed two runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, with five walks and five strikeouts. Hardly a clean performance, but he got the win.

Matt Wieters, who went 4-for-5 with five RBIs last night, is 2-for-3 against Hansen.

Mark Reynolds has the most at-bats against Hanson. He’s 1-for-8 with five strikeouts, so familiarity isn’t necessarily working in his favor. However, he’s swinging a hot bat lately, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a home run last night, and collecting eight doubles, five homers, 15 RBIs, 15 walks and 17 runs scored in his last 22 games.

I’ll pass along the lineup once the Orioles post it. I’m curious how Showalter will manage, so to speak, without his DH. Does Chris Davis get the start at first base, with Reynolds moving back to third? Does one of them have to sit?

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