04/28/10 11:40 PM ET
O's Matusz faces test vs. Yankees
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Matusz, who has a 7-2 career record, has faced the Yankees just once in his career. The southpaw threw seven efficient innings against the Yankees last September, holding the eventual World Series champions to four hits and one run. Matusz knows that the Yankees will have more of a book on him now, and he's eager to test himself against New York again.
"It's going to be a little bit different," said Matusz. "I'm going to take the positives and the negatives from that game, look back at video. But it's a little different, so I'm going to focus on what I need to do."
The Yankees will counter with A.J. Burnett, and they'll be focused on keeping their hot streak alive. New York has wins in seven of its last 11 and in 11 of its last 16 games en route to one of the best records in the league. The Yankees are wrapping up a nine-game road trip -- tied for their longest of the season -- and will hope to head home on a winning note.
But they won't be taking Baltimore lightly. New York may have taken a one-sided lead early in Wednesday's game, but then it spent the rest of the game fending off a challenge from a game Orioles lineup. Yankees manager Joe Girardi remarked before Wednesday's game that the Orioles appear to be better than their April record.
"I definitely think so," he said of the Orioles, who have the most losses in the Majors. "Their starting pitching has been very good. They've struggled in the bullpen. You look at a lot of their losses and they've lost them late."
Yankees: Cano off to hot start
Nobody's hotter than Robinson Cano, the Yankees' All-Star second baseman. Cano, who went 2-for-4 with a home run in Wednesday night's rout, is leading the Major Leagues in batting average (.395) and is tied for the top spot in the American League with 18 runs scored. Cano has a seven-game hit streak and has had 10 multi-hit games this season.
And when you dig a little deeper, his statistics are even more impressive. Cano has batted .379 (64-for-169) over the last two Aprils, which stands as the second-best average of any Major Leaguer. Cano, who won the Silver Slugger Award in 2006, has done quite a bit of damage over that span, personally accounting for 11 home runs, 36 runs and 31 RBIs.
Orioles: Matusz's rapid rise
Matusz, the fourth overall selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, has paid immediate dividends for the Orioles. The left-hander made his big league debut a little less than a year after he signed his first pro contract, and he's more than held his own. Matusz has been tagged with two tough-luck no-decisions and could easily be 4-0 right now.
And if there's any weakness in his game right now, it would appear to be endurance. Matusz allowed just one run in the first six innings of his last start, but then he tired and allowed two more in the seventh. Matusz saw a similar situation in his previous no-decision, a game in which he threw seven shutout innings and was charged with four runs in the eighth.
The Orioles are the first team since 1969 to have their first four wins saved by four different pitchers. ...The Yankees have had just a pair of two-game losing streaks this season. ... Jeter doubled on Wednesday night, tying Don Mattingly for the third-highest doubles total (442) in franchise history. ... Mark Teixeira is batting .133 so far this season. ... Cano has 15 home runs against Baltimore, which is tied for his top total against any team. ... Mariano Rivera has 1,012 career strikeouts and is two away from tying Roger Clemens for 10th place in New York's franchise history. ... Rhyne Hughes is the first Baltimore rookie to hit safely and notch an RBI in each of his first three games. Hughes has reached safely in six of his first 14 plate appearances. ... The Orioles are 4-3 when they score at least four runs, but they're also 0-14 when they score three or less.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.