Just his luck it comes against a pitcher who could end up garnering many votes as the AL’s top rookie later this year.
Matusz, who has been sidelined by a strained intercostal muscle, was 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA in 32 starts while leading all AL rookies with 143 strikeouts last season. The fourth overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft was almost unbeatable after the Orioles (25-29) hired Buck Showalter as manager Aug. 3.
In his final 11 starts, the left-hander went 7-1 with a 2.18 ERA, and Baltimore posted a 10-1 record. Showalter told the Orioles’ official website that Matusz is ready to play.
“He’s got a little anxiety,” Showalter said. “He wants to get going with his season. We want him to get going. I kept that in mind with him. He’s bouncing off the walls, he’s ready to go. I think as he pitches and gets some of that out of him, he’ll get back to his old self.”
Pineda (6-2, 2.42 ERA) will face Baltimore for the second time. On May 10, he didn’t register a decision after being tagged for three runs and seven hits in six innings as the Mariners lost 7-6 in 13 at Camden Yards.
Since then, the right-hander has gone 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA, allowing just three runs and eight hits in 19 innings. Pineda was a little wild Friday against the New York Yankees, walking a season-high five in five innings and failing to get a decision as Seattle (28-26) rallied for a 4-3 win.
“They made him work and he never gave into it. We talk about him going through a series of firsts this year and that was another one tonight,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “He was a little erratic early on but really started to get dialed in there his last couple innings.”
Baltimore was swept at Oakland over the weekend, then lost 4-3 at Safeco Field on Monday. However, Jeremy Guthrie(notes) was cruising with a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning Tuesday before his two-out fielding error allowed Ichiro Suzuki(notes) to reach.
“I had command of a majority of my pitches and for the most part stayed down, but left a few up,” said Guthrie, who went the distance on a five-hitter and struck out a season-high nine, but fell to 2-7.
Seattle third baseman Luis Rodriguez(notes) went 0 for 2 in place of Chone Figgins(notes), who was told Tuesday that he would be sitting out a few games. Figgins is in an 0-for-22 slump that’s dropped his batting average to .190.