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Orioles fall to Mets, 3-1, despite strong start from Brian Matusz

Baltimore Sun
Sunday, June 13, 2010; D03

BALTIMORE -- Much has been made about the Baltimore Orioles' lack of offense this season, the way they can't score runs or get key hits when the opportunities arise and how that ineffectiveness keeps costing their starting pitchers potential wins.

The trend continued Saturday, with the Orioles' hitters failing to solve another opposing starter, Hisanori Takahashi, in a 3-1 loss to the New York Mets.

Again, the Orioles had their chances and again failed miserably, going 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. They are 4 for 27 (.148 average) in that category in their two losses to the Mets this weekend. But a muffed double play by a defense that simply can't convert the big out when needed was the real deflating moment, turning rookie Brian Matusz's career-long, eight-inning start into an afterthought.

It pushed Matusz (2-7) into the hard-luck, seven-loss club with Orioles starters Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie. Only two other American League pitchers have seven or more losses this season.

Saturday's defeat, before an announced crowd of 42,248, guaranteed that the Orioles would go winless in their past 10 series (0-9-1) while the Mets clinched a road series for the first time in 10 tries this season.

It was the 20th game in which the Orioles have scored one run or fewer and it was the 15th time in their past 16 that an opposing hurler has delivered a quality start.

Matusz did his part, throwing 95 pitches in eight innings, allowing five hits -- including two solo homers -- and three runs. He walked none for the first time since April and struck out four.

And he and the Orioles still lost.

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