FORT MYERS, Fla. – Originally, Brian Matusz was supposed to have a quick trip to Philadelphia on Monday. It had nothing to do with a hankering for a cheesesteak. No, he was going to have a wart on his left middle finger removed.
The storm forecast for the Northeast influenced the Orioles’ plan.
“The weather’s going to get him, so we’re going to hold him. We’re going to do it another time. We’re going to wait until the weather clears. There’s a good chance he gets stuck up there,” manager Buck Showalter said.
The wart doesn’t get in the say of Matusz pitching. He went ahead and threw two scoreless innings, allowing two hits in the Orioles 8-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox before 9,623 at JetBlue Park on Sunday.
“It’s kind of a bummer that it has to be pushed back. But that’s just how it goes with the weather that the East Coast has been having this year,” Matusz said.
“Fortunately it’s not in a spot that’s affecting games and practices right now. Hopefully, we will be able to get things lined up with my pitching schedule, the weather and the doctors schedule and get this thing taken care of.”
Matusz, who will probably be slotted behind Ubaldo Jimenez for his next scheduled appearance on Friday, said he was happy with how the outing went.
“Absolutely, it felt pretty good based off some of the swings on the changeup. Some swings and misses and a couple outs. Had a few fastballs guys were taking and a few pop-ups,” Matusz said.
It’s likely that Matusz, who’s made no secret of his desire to start, goes back to the bullpen, especially with Troy Patton unavailable for the first 25 games of the season due to a suspension.
“I felt excited to be able to get back out there on the mound again and get started being able to start from the windup. I felt like in the first inning I was a bit over excited and I wasn't exactly hitting the spots like I wanted to, but overall felt good,” Matusz said.
Showalter said that he was impressed with Matusz’s ability to get both left and right-handed hitters out.
Brock Huntzinger, a former Red Sox farmhand, pitched a scoreless third inning. Eduardo Rodriguez gave four runs in two innings. Mike Napoli hit a two-run home run.
Tim Berry allowed a run in the sixth and T.J. McFarland three in the eighth.
Trailing by seven runs entering the ninth, the Orioles sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five. Jonathan Schoop had a two-run double, minor league first baseman Christian Walker a two-run single and minor league infielder Buck Britton an RBI single.
Delmon Young and Steve Pearce each had two hits. Young and Pearce had back-to-back doubles in the fourth, but Young held up at third.
NOTES: Mike Yastrzemski grounded out and walked. He entered the game as a pinch runner and scored a run.
-Josh Hart pinch ran in the ninth inning and scored a run. It was his first spring training appearance.
-Michael Ohlman was going to go with Matusz to get a wart on his right hand removed, but the young catcher will have to wait to his removed, Showalter said.
-The Orioles host the Minnesota Twins on Monday. Bud Norris, Kevin Gausman, Alfredo Aceves, Darren O’Day and Tommy Hunter will be among the pitchers for the Orioles. Vance Worley and Trevor May are pitching for the Twins.