FORT MYERS, Fla. - Well, that was an interesting ninth inning.
The Orioles scored six runs in the top half, and Chris Petrini survived two walks in the bottom half to finally put this game to bed.
Orioles 9, Twins 4.
Niuman Romero’s single tied the game 4-4, and Kyle Hudson’s single put the Orioles in front. Steve Pearce had a sacrifice fly, Yamaico Navarro a two-run double and LJ Hoes an RBI single.
Brian Matusz allowed one baserunner in four innings and struck out seven. Manager Buck Showalter thought about letting him return for the fifth, but the 10-pitch battle with Justin Morneau ended that idea.
Matusz is “still in the mix” for the fifth starter’s job, Showalter said. The left-hander also could return to the bullpen.
“We’ve got plenty of time and we’ll continue to look at all of our options,” Showalter said. “Brian’s had success as a starter, too, just didn’t have as much as he’s capable of last year. We feel like he’s capable of doing both.”
Showalter noted Matusz’s enthusiasm at getting the start tonight.
“They’re all excited to get an opportunity to start,” Showalter said. “I’m sure Mr. (Kevin) Gausman will be tomorrow, and (Dylan) Bundy was. I hope they are.
“I glanced at Brian a couple of times before the game. You can tell he was pretty serious about what was getting ready to happen.
“He attacked the strike zone. I thought Tea (Taylor Teagarden) did a good job with him. He attacked the zone and presented himself calmly. You never know what the stint in the bullpen might do for him.
“We’ll do what’s best for the club and we still have a long time to make that decision. I’m not going to make it tonight, but he sure presented himself well.”