SARASOTA, Fla. - Three of the first four batters reached against Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz tonight, and the Pirates grabbed a quick 2-0 lead.
That's the bad news. Here's the encouraging part:
Only one ball was hit hard - an RBI rope double by Josh Harrison that followed a bloop single by leadoff hitter Alex Presley. Matt Hague delivered the second run with one out on a ground ball that scooted between shortstop J.J. Hardy and third baseman Mark Reynolds.
Matusz got called third strikes on the next two batters to complete the inning. He threw 27 pitches, 19 for strikes.
Matusz's fastball was routinely 90-91 mph.
Update: Matusz is charged with three runs and six hits in two innings, with no walks and three strikeouts - all looking.
Two of the hits in the second inning were a bunt single and an infield hit, with Robert Andino making a great backhanded stop up the middle before throwing late to first base.
Matusz pitched much better than his line indicates.
The Orioles scored their run in the first on a two-out single by Adam Jones and an error by Pirates right fielder Starling Marte, who dropped Mark Reynolds' fly ball.