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GameThread: Orioles (51-74) @ Twins (62-63), 8:10 PM EDT

Brian Matusz pitches for the Orioles tonight and he actually has more experience than the opposing pitcher, Armando Gabino, who's making his major league debut at the age of 25. Gabino, born in the Dominican Republic, was signed by the Cleveland Indians as free agent in 2001 and selected by the Twins in the Rule V draft in 2004. He's been in AAA Rochester for the entire season, but has started only 5 of his 36 games (including the last three). He has good minor league numbers, but his K rate is low, especially for a reliever. Knowing the Orioles as I do, I won't be surprised if they roll over and let the young lad have a very successful major league debut.

If you look at his pitching lines alone, it appears Brian Matusz hasn't had a good outing since his debut on August 4th. His last two starts, however, had stretches of greatness ruined by just one inning. On August 15th he pitched 5.2 innings, 4.2 of which were quite good. Only the third inning had him befuddled as the Angels scored five runs on three singles and three walks. On August 20th against the Rays, Matusz pitched 5.1 innings, not getting into trouble until the 6th when he gave up a 3 run HR. In his last two starts he has 14 Ks and 3 BBs. If Matusz can avoid the one big inning he can hopefully pitch at least 6. He has yet to do so in the majors, despite pitching at least 6 in 12 of his 19 minor league starts.

The Orioles offense really needs to come alive if they want to win tonight's game. In three of their last six games, the Orioles have scored just 1 run (all losses). That's not going to win you many games at all. The Orioles still have a chance to have a winning record on this road trip with wins tonight and tomorrow. They haven't been able to do that on any road trip this year. Those rooting for the draft pick don't care about that, but I'd be happy to see it.


Baltimore Orioles Minnesota Twins
Brian Roberts - 2B Denard Span - LF
Felix Pie - CF Orlando Cabrera - SS
Nolan Reimold - DH Joe Mauer - C
Nick Markakis - RF Justin Morneau - 1B
Luke Scott - LF Michael Cuddyer - RF
Matt Wieters - C Brendan Harris - 3B
Melvin Mora - 3B Delmon Young - DH
Michael Aubrey - 1B Carlos Gomez - CF
Cesar Izturis - SS Alexi Casilla - 2B