Tonight's pitchers: Matusz vs. Washburn

LHP Brian Matusz, who has had a brilliant season in the Orioles minor leagues this year, tonight makes his Major League debut.

In 19 starts this year between Frederick and Bowie, the 22-year-old Matusz went 11-2, 1.91 and fanned 121 in 113 innings.

He began the year at Frederick, going 4-2, 2.16 in 11 starts.

Matusz made his first Double-A start on June 17th and pitched even better with Bowie than he had at Frederick. In eight Baysox starts, he went 7-0, 1.55.

In 46 1/3 innings he allowed 31 hits, including two homers. He walked 11 and struck out 46.

Matusz pitched just one inning Saturday at New Britain in advance of tonight's start. On July 16th he allowed 6ER over 5 innings vs. Akron. In his seven other Bowie starts, he gave up just 2ER over 41 1/3 innings.

With Bowie, right-handed batters hit .224 off Matusz while lefties hit only .077. He gave up an average of just .171 when pitching with runners in scoring position.

Matusz was the Birds' first-round pick last year, the 4th overall pick. He gave up one run or less in seven of eight Bowie starts.

LHP Jarrod Washburn (8-6, 2.64) tonight makes his 21st start of this year, his 12th at home and his 3rd of this season vs. Baltimore.

This will be Washburn's first start with his new team. Last Thursday, Detroit acquired Washburn from Seattle for two minor league pitchers. Washburn can be a free agent at the end of this season.

Washburn is pitching great recently. Over his last five starts, he is 4-0, 0.74, allowing just 3ER and 20 hits in 36 2/3 innings. He has allowed one run or less in five straight starts.

His 2.64 ERA is tied for second in the AL with new teammate Edwin Jackson, who will pitch tomorrow vs. the Orioles.

Right-handed batters are hitting .244 off Washburn while lefties bat .168. He give up only a .143 average when pitching with runners in scoring position.

He has allowed just two runs in the first inning all year and a .119 average against in the opening frame of his starts.

Washburn has faced the O's twice this year. On June 1st at Seattle he pitched very well but lost a 1-0 game. On July 6th he pitched a one-hit shutout vs. the O's.

Washburn vs. Baltimore:
2009: 1-1, 0.56, two starts (16IP, 7H, 1R-ER, 1B, 6K)
Career: 7-6, 4.18, 16 starts (103IP, 101H, 30B, 60K

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