This time, Brian Matusz got the better of the Texas Rangers.
In two starts earlier this year, Matusz had allowed 11 ER and 14 hits over 5 1/3 vs. Texas for an ERA of 18.56. His career ERA over three starts vs. Texas was 10.95.
Those numbers will come down now after Matusz pitched eight shutout innings vs. the AL West leaders Thursday night as the Orioles beat Texas 4-0 to start a four-game series.
The Orioles turned two double plays and made several nice plays behind him as he gave up just five hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He threw 115 pitches as he improved to 5-12, 4.97.
This was the third start on the year where Matusz pitched scoreless ball. He had seven shutout innings on May 15 vs. Cleveland and seven more on the 4th of July at Boston.
This was also the first time since May of 2005 where the Orioles got three straight starts of eight innings since it was done then by Daniel Cabrera, Erik Bedard and Sidney Ponson.
Koji Uehara pitched the ninth to complete the Orioles third shutout of the year.
The Orioles broke the scoreless tie, finally, in the last of the seventh. With one out, Felix Pie singled to left and went to third on a Matt Wieters ground single to right. Corey Patterson then lined a single to center for his 25th RBI and a 1-0 O’s lead.
After a ground out moved the runners to second and third, Brian Roberts lined a two-run double to right for a 3-0 lead. The ball dropped just out of the reach of right fielder Brandon Boggs, who dove for it.
After starter Colby Lewis was replaced by Darren Oliver, Nick Markakis greeted him with an RBI single to left for a 4-0 O’s lead.
Lewis, who had pitched to an ERA of 2.97 over his last 12 starts, gave up four runs and nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. He falls to 9-10, 3.37.
The O’s improve to 5-2 on the year vs. Texas, which has now lost four in a row and is just 11-22 on the season vs. AL East teams.