Brian Matusz returned to the Orioles today to start what he hopes will be a solid season and Adam Jones saw his solid season continue this afternoon as the Orioles won the final game of their road trip, 2-1 at Seattle. The win snapped the Orioles’ five-game losing streak.
For the second time this year, the Orioles won a game started by Mariners’ rookie sensation right-hander Michael Pineda, even though he didn’t get tagged with the loss this time either.
Jones, who made a sensational running catch to rob Miguel Olivo of extra-bases in the fourth, delivered a huge swing that gave the Orioles the lead in the eighth.
After Pineda left the game with the score tied 1-1 after seven innings, Jones greeted reliever Jamey Wright with a long homer to left on a 2-1 pitch. His seventh of the year gave the O’s the 2-1 edge.
The Orioles bullpen pitched shutout ball over the last 3 1/3 innings as Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara and Kevin Gregg combined to get those last ten outs with Gregg pitching the ninth to record his ninth save.
Matusz made his 2011 season debut and pitched very well, allowing just one run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He threw 84 pitches, 52 for strikes in his 41st career start but first ever against the Mariners.
Matusz allowed two singles in the Seattle second, the last of which was good for an RBI by Jack Wilson. With one on and one out in the third, he began a streak of retiring ten straight hitters. The streak ended, not on a hit, but when Mark Reynolds made an error with two outs in the sixth and Buck Showalter then replaced Matusz with Jim Johnson.
The Orioles got their first run on J.J. Hardy’s second homer of the year off Pineda, which came on a 1-2 pitch in the second. Hardy’s homer to left was his third of the season.
The win means the Orioles avoid a winless road trip and head home with a record of 25-29 for an off-day on Thursday. The Orioles ended a five-game losing streak at Safeco Field and handed Seattle just its third loss in 14 games.