Day 3 of the Samuel era

The Orioles have been outscored 19-2 in Juan Samuel’s two games as interim manager.

The problems run pretty deep here.

Samuel keeps pointing out that guys are running out ground balls and playing with some energy. That’ll have to suffice until the offense busts out and the bullpen tightens up.

Left-hander Brian Matusz takes the mound today. Maybe someone should tackle him as he gets out of his car, leave him with the same “general soreness” that bothered Jeremy Guthrie yesterday.

If you see Matusz and a stranger rolling around the parking lot, you’ll understand.

Guthrie held the Red Sox to two runs in 7 1/3 innings while lowering his ERA to 3.71.

General soreness? That was a major effort, and one that deserved more than another loss.

It’s always interesting to track the behind-the-scenes stuff that causes an avalanche of speculation.

Guthrie’s body is aching and the Orioles aren’t sure if he’ll need to be scratched. They have Jason Berken on high alert, and they pull Jake Arrieta from last night’s start at Triple-A Norfolk in case he needs to fly to Baltimore. Guthrie takes the mound and dazzles, Berken stays in the bullpen and Arrieta pitches two innings in relief for the Tides.

Sure made for an interesting night.

Guthrie, by the way, has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts, and three or fewer in five of six and seven of 10.

The Orioles get John Lackey today, and he’s 9-3 with a 3.17 ERA lifetime against the Orioles. Maybe they’re catching him at the right time. He’s allowed 20 hits and walked six in his last two starts covering 12 1/3 innings.

Then again, he’s won both times.

Lackey has surrendered four runs or more in four of his last five starts.

It might be a good time to sit Cesar Izturis, who’s 4-for-24 against Lackey. Corey Patterson is 1-for-11 with four strikeouts.

Nick Markakis is 10-for-28 with two doubles and two RBIs. Luke Scott is 3-for-10 with a double and two home runs. Matt Wieters is 4-for-12 with two RBIs, but he’ll probably sit after a night game.

Gotta rest those legs.

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