Mud Hens prevent clean outing from Matusz (and note)

Left-hander Brian Matusz tossed seven scoreless innings in his last start for Triple-A Norfolk, but he took a step backward today against the Toledo Mud Hens.

Matusz was charged with eight runs (seven earned) and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, with three walks and two strikeouts. He left after throwing 85 pitches, 53 for strikes.

Nick Bierbrodt let two inherited runners score after replacing Matusz. Clete Thomas hit a three-run homer off him.

Matusz retired the side in order in the first inning, but he allowed four runs and four hits, and walked two batters, in the second. One run was unearned after an error by second baseman Brendan Harris.

(I'd like to know why Ryan Adams is serving again as the designated hitter. Shouldn't he be playing second base every day and working on his defense?)

Matusz allowed only three hits, walked two and struck out eight while shutting out Gwinnett over seven innings on Saturday. He was removed after 88 pitches.

In four starts since being optioned July 2, Matusz has surrendered 14 runs (13 earned) and 24 hits in 21 2/3 innings, with 10 walks and 19 strikeouts. His fastball was mostly clocked at 88 mph on Saturday, touching 90 mph a few times. I'll try to obtain more information on today's start when I get to Camden Yards tomorrow.

NOTE: The starting time for the Thursday, Sept. 1 game against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards has been switched from 7:05 p.m. to 12:35 p.m. to accommodate the race preparations for the grand prix.

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