Orioles vs. Angels: Matusz drops 12th straight decision


Baltimore’s Brian Matusz works during his 6-3 loss to the Angels. He has lost 12 straight decisions, the longest current streak in the majors and second longest in franchise history. He has yielded 21 hits and 13 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)
April 21, 2012

Brian Matusz’s nightmarish stretch seemingly won’t end as his personal losing streak tumbles on.

The 25-year-old left-hander was touched up again in the Baltimore Orioles’ 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night and has now dropped 12 consecutive decisions – the longest active streak in the majors and second longest in the history of the franchise.

Matusz allowed base runners in five of the six innings in which he pitched, but headed into the sixth having given up just three runs. Then it got ugly.

Matusz gave up an infield single and two walks to start the inning — including a free pass to Erick Aybar, who was feverishly attempting to bunt — and was pulled after his 100th pitch. Darren O’Day entered and surrendered a two-run double to Howie Kendrick. A third run scored on a throwing error by Adam Jones, the Orioles’ third error of the game.

The Orioles originally were charged with four errors, but a scoring change late in the night turned a Matt Wieters’ errant throw on a bunt into a single. It would have been the first time the Orioles had committed four errors in a game since Aug. 12, 2008 at Cleveland.

Still, it was another brutal defensive performance for the Orioles, who have made 13 errors during this eight-game road trip and are tied with the San Francisco Giants for the most errors in the majors with 16.

Second baseman Robert Andino made two throwing errors, including one on a tough play that could have been scored a hit.

The shoddy defense didn’t make the night any easier on Matusz, who allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks, one an intentional pass to Albert Pujols, while striking out a season-best six.

In three starts this season, Matusz has lasted just 14 2/3 innings, giving up 21 hits, 11 walks and 13 earned runs. His season ERA actually dropped Friday from 8.38 to 7.98. And that’s better than his 2011 ERA of 10.69, which was the highest in the history of baseball for someone who made at least 10 starts.

Dating from June 10, a span of 13 starts, Matusz is 0-12 with an 11.64 ERA. The only stretch of losing longer than Matusz’s was turned in by Mike Boddicker in 1987-88, when he lost 14 straight.

The Orioles’ offense didn’t sparkle either on Friday night. Angels pitcher Jerome Williams, who entered the game with a 16.87 ERA, allowed just three runs in 62 / 3 innings. He had given up just one run — on a J.J. Hardy single in the third — before Nolan Reimold smacked a two-run homer in the seventh to chase Williams.

It was Reimold’s fifth homer, tying Adam Jones for the team lead, and his club-leading 10th RBI. Reimold also doubled and singled in five at-bats, an impressive return after missing a day due to neck spasms. Reimold is 12-for-25 (.480) with five homers on the road trip.

— Baltimore Sun

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