Tonight's pitchers: Matusz vs. Shields

LHP Brian Matusz (1-2, 6.75) tonight makes his 4th Major League start of this season, his 3rd on the road and the 1st of his career vs. Tampa. In his Major League debut, August 4th at Detroit, Matusz got a win, giving up just one run over five innings. Over his last two starts vs. Toronto and Los Angeles, he has given up 9ER and 18 hits over 8 1/3 innings. The Orioles are 1-2 in his starts. Right-handed batters are hitting .436 vs. Matusz in those starts with 24 hits in 55 at bats. Lefties are 0 for 5 thus far vs. Matusz. He gives up an average of just .222 when pitching with runners in scoring position. In 19 minor league starts earlier this year, Matusz was 11-2, 1.91 between Frederick and Bowie. He went 7-0, 1.55 in eight Double-A starts. He was the O's first-round pick, 4th overall, in 2008. RHP James Shields (7-9, 3.88) tonight makes his 26th start, his 15th at home and the 14th of his career vs. Baltimore. Shields, who has gained just one win over his last ten starts, is 1-3, 4.85 over his last four starts. In six second-half starts, he is 1-3, 5.45. Shields by pitch count: Pitches 1-25: opponent avg is .335 Pitches 26-50: opponent avg is .249 Pitches 51-75: opponent avg is .202 The 27-year-old Shields, a 16th-round Tampa draft pick in 2000, is 4-5, 3.46 in 14 home starts. The Rays are 11-14 when Shields starts, but are just 1-4 over his last five outings. Shields vs. Baltimore: 2009: 1-0, 0.00 (7IP, 3H, 0R, 1B, 3K on April 12) 2008: 3-0, 2.57, five starts Career: 5-1, 2.97, 13 starts (91IP, 86H, 22B, 57K)
Thursday preview: O's at Tampa
Noting B-Rob Slams

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