O's Matusz pitches 2 innings in first spring game
SARASOTA, Fla.—Brian Matusz had a forgettable 2011. His 2012 started shaky, too.
The 25-year-old left-hander was 1-9 with a 10.69 ERA last season. He lost his last nine decisions, and his ERA was the highest-ever for a pitcher making at least 10 starts.
Matusz yielded six hits, but allowed just one very hard-hit ball -- an RBI double by Josh Harrison in the first. He struck out three and walked none.
"The Pirates executed really well and took advantage of the mistakes I made and put the ball in play," Matusz said.
"But, overall I felt like I attacked the zone really well and stuck to my game plan."
Matusz did strike out three batters -- all looking,
"It was nice to get those strikeouts, being able to locate the fastball and paint it on the outside corner right where I wanted it."
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter knows about the offseason work Matusz has done with former Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson, who's now a team executive. Anderson threw out the first pitch for the team's home opener. Right after that, Matusz's evening went downhill.
"He's given himself a chance to be good," Showalter said.
Matt Hague hit a two-run homer in the third inning and finished with three RBIs for the Pirates, who had 18 hits. Hague, Alex Presley and Starling Marte each had three hits.
It was the first win for Pittsburgh in three games.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle watched his team manufacture runs with aggressive baserunning and four infield hits. Fourteen of their hits were singles.
"Speed has got a place for us. We've got to find different ways to score," Hurdle said.
"Our guys know the importance of getting down the line. You put a ball in play -- and good things will happen."
Kevin Gregg allowed Hague's home run, and Matt Lindstrom gave up three runs -- two earned in his first outing for Baltimore since being acquired last month from Colorado.
"It's not really the impression you'd like to leave on your new team," Lindstrom said.
Pittsburgh starter Jo-Jo Reyes gave up an unearned run and three hits in 1 2-3 innings.
Notes: The Pirates are closing in on a six-year, $51.5 million deal with CF Andrew McCutchen. He's expected to sign the contract on Tuesday. McCutchen did not travel with the team. ... Orioles minor league INF/OF Travis Adair was hit on the side of the head during batting practice of Baltimore's split-squad game on Monday afternoon in Tampa Bay. Adair, the son of Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair was taken for a CT scan. Rick Adair said his 24-year-old son was fine, but he did have a concussion when he was 19. ... Baltimore OF Nolan Reimold batted leadoff. ... Orioles RHP Jason Berken (hamstring) is improving, and hopes to throw off a mound soon. ... Harrison was in the lineup after being scratched from Sunday's game when he was hit on the elbow with a pitch. ... The Pirates are scheduled to face left-handed starters in four consecutive games. ... Showalter managed both games of the split-squad doubleheader.