Matusz usually wins these battles, but not tonight. Gordon sent a 2-2 pitch, a 91-mph fastball, over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field to tie the game.
Gordon fouled off a nasty slider right before hitting his fourth home run of the season.
“The last one I wanted to be away,” Matusz said. “I wanted it to be a fastball away and I pulled off it and I left it out over the plate. He’s a good hitter. He doesn’t miss pitches like that very often.”
Matusz knew he made a mistake to Gordon without watching the flight of the ball.
“By the time the pitch came out, it was hit out of the ballpark before I had time to even think,” he said. “But after the fact, yeah. (Matt) Wieters put his head down right away. It was just missed location. Not necessarily the wrong pitch. I think it was the right pitch. Just needed for it to be away.”
Matusz had stranded all 26 inherited runners since moving to the bullpen last summer. The streak ended tonight.
“For me, every time I go out there, I want to prevent those runners from scoring,” he said. “That’s the name of the game. Today, I felt terrible blowing the game for (Wei-Yin) Chen. He pitched great for us today. I wanted to give him a W. But the streak is really for you guys to talk about. Regardless of the streak, I want to go out there and prevent runners from scoring.”
As has happened so many times this season, the Orioles came right back to reclaim the lead and pick up Matusz.
“That’s just how we fight and that’s the type of team we are,” he said. “We’re in every ballgame, regardless of the score. We fight all the way through the end, until the game’s over.
“There’s always a chance and we showed it today. It showed what we’re made of as a team.”