By DAVID GINSBURG AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) _ Brian Matusz allowed two hits and struck out
nine in 6 1-3 innings, Steve Tolleson and Wilson Betemit both hit
two-run homers, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox
4-1 on Tuesday night.
It was the sixth win in eight games for the AL East-leading
Orioles, who improved to 4-1 against Boston this season. Tolleson
homered off Felix Doubront in the second inning and Betemit
connected against Matt Albers in the eighth.
Kevin Youkilis homered for the Red Sox, who were seeking to
climb over .500 for the first time this season. Instead, Boston
reclaimed sole possession of last place.
Matusz (4-4) threw his fastball with uncanny accuracy and kept
the Red Sox off balance with a nasty, dipping curveball. In winning
his third straight start, the left-hander allowed one run, walked
one and matched his career high in strikeouts. He threw 101
pitches, 67 for strikes.
The lone glaring flaw in his performance was a fourth-inning
home run by Youkilis, who was activated from the disabled list
before the game.
Matusz was 1-9 with a 10.69 ERA in a dismal 2011 that included
two trips to the disabled list. After starting 0-3 this season, he
has won four of his last five starts.
Darren O’Day struck out the final two batters in the seventh,
Pedro Strop worked a hitless eighth and Jim Johnson got three
straight outs to complete the two-hitter and earn his 16th save in
as many tries.
Matusz outpitched Doubront (4-2), who gave up two runs and four
hits in six innings and notched a career-high nine strikeouts.
The difference was Tolleson, who came to the plate in the second
inning with one home run in 62 career at-bats. With a runner on
first, Tolleson sent a drive over the center-field wall.
It was the first homer allowed by Doubront in five starts.
Youkilis halved the lead with a shot to center in the fourth. It
was his third homer of the season, the first since April 26.
Notes: Baltimore OF Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to a
career-high 14 games. … Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia had his 20-game
hitting streak against the Orioles come to an end. … The Red Sox
put OF Cody Ross (broken foot) on the 15-day DL, purchased the
contract of OF Scott Podsednik and moved RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka from
the 15- to the 60-day DL. … Orioles 2B Brian Roberts, who’s been
sidelined for more than a year with a concussion, will begin a
minor league rehabilitation assignment Wednesday with Double-A
Bowie. … Orioles OF Nolan Reimold (back) will receive a second
epidural shot Friday. “We’re hoping this does the trick,” manager
Buck Showalter said. … Jake Arrieta starts for Baltimore against
Daniel Bard in the series finale Wednesday afternoon.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)