Juan and done

Brian Matusz turned in his ninth quality start of the season, but the bats bailed on him again.

“If you just look at him pitch, you wouldn’t think he’s that young,” interim manager Juan Samuel said. “He’s got an idea. He knows what he wants to do on the mound, so when he needs to make good pitches, he’s been able to make good pitches and get out of potentially big innings for the other club. He’s been able to control the damage very well, so that was very nice. He’s been doing that for us all year.”

Any chance the lack of run support and the losing - his record is 2-9 after tonight - could become an issue for the rookie?

“I don’t think so because we’ve seen him throw the ball very, very well,” Samuel said. “He’s really not showing his age out there. He’s making pitches and that’s all that matters for us. He is progressing. He’s making good pitches. We’re not worried about him at all.”

Juan Samuel addresses the media after the O’s 4-2 loss to Oakland

Samuel praised plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth for the way he handled a potentially volatile situation in the fifth inning, when Matusz hit Daric Barton and Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro appeared to retaliate by drilling Julio Lugo.

“The umpire felt like he had to send a warning just to stop anything that could happen,” Samuel said. “That was the end of it, hopefully. He did not do it on purpose. I did not think we did it on purpose. We were just trying to get the pitch in a little bit. The umpire did a good job.”

Oakland stole a season-high four bases tonight, the most against the Orioles in a single game this season.

Orioles relievers have allowed two earned runs and 12 hits, with four walks and 14 strikeouts, in the last five games totaling 19 1/3 innings.

I’ll save you the math: That’s a 0.93 ERA.

The Orioles are 2-10 in games decided by two runs.

Felix Pie was 4-for-5 with a double and run scored at Double-A Bowie.

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