After the latest Orioles win was over, Adam Jones was happy to see the Orioles get a sweep of Toronto, but wished that Brian Matusz could have been rewarded for a good outing with his first win since last June 6.
“I just wish we could have gotten him a W,” Jones said. “Starters get the wins and losses and relievers get the holds and saves. That is how I personally like it. But we won as a team and he understands that. He threw six, very, very good innings and I’m very proud of what I saw from him. He was pounding that strike zone.”
Matusz, who entered tonight 0-12 with an ERA of 11.64 over his past 13 starts, continued to show that he has made improvement from his disastrous 2011 season with his outing tonight.
He gave up two runs, none earned and five hits during a 92-pitch, six-inning outing that lowered his ERA on the season to 6.53. He did not get a decision in the club’s 5-2 win over the Blue Jays.
“I felt good from the get go,” Matusz said. “Was able to establish the fastball. My changeup was effective when I kept the ball down. Got some nice ground balls out of it and some swings and misses. Makes it a lot easier when that pitch is working for me.
“The Blue Jays are one of the toughest lineups. They’ve got a lot of power and speed so to keep those guys off balance is a tough task. But I worked well with Wheat (catcher Matt Wieters) behind the plate.”
Matusz was asked if he is regaining confidence after such a strong outing?
“Absolutely, I felt good my last start against the Angels but wasn’t able to put it all together,” he said. “I was able to go out there with some confidence today. I’ve been working real hard in the weight room and with Rick Adair to get myself into a groove. I kept the guys in the game today. This year I’ve felt good out there multiple outings. Today I was able to be consistent and able to hit locations.”
Orioles starting pitchers are on a bit of a roll and have allowed just two earned runs over 25 1/3 the past four games for an ERA of 0.71 in that time. Orioles pitching has allowed just five runs during a four-game win streak and the Orioles have nine quality starts this year and a 9-0 record in those games.
“Everyone in the rotation has been doing well, keeping our team in the game all the way through. Plus our bullpen has been excellent all year. Our hitters too. Jonesy with that home run was huge,” Matusz said.
Ryan Flaherty got his first two hits as a major leaguer tonight and his first career RBI with a sac fly in the fifth. He had a bunt single in the seventh and a ground single an inning later.
“Yeah, it takes a little pressure off to get that first one (base hit) out of the way. The ball was sitting in my locker here after the game. Who knows what I’ll do with it. Maybe I’ll give it to my parents,” Flaherty said.
Jones delivered another big, late game hit tonight. His solo homer leading off the last of the eighth broke a 2-2 tie and was his sixth of the year. He hit the first pitch he saw from Casey Janssen over the left field wall.
“Oh, yeah. I was looking for something out over the plate,” Jones said. “Not a first-pitch slider away, but I was looking for a heater up, something to drive. I got enough of it to hit it out.
“We all have the same mindset. Take it today, we can’t do anything about tomorrow. We focused on Hutchison and we all can do our part. That is what we are trying to do.
“Winning feels good. To start the year playing good baseball is fun. We have to maintain it throughout the whole year. Tomorrow, we focus on Oakland.”
Jones was asked about the standings and being able to see his team in first place right now.
“I don’t personally care. What will let me know that we are in first place is when that stadium is filled. If this is June and we are still playing like this, they will fill the stadium. It’s been loud but we didn’t have 47,000 here today,” he said.
Five of Jones’ six homers this year have tied the game or given the Orioles the lead, as his blast did tonight to help the club record a three-game sweep of Toronto.