Matusz fans seven in four no-hit frames vs. Twins
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles rallied in the ninth inning with six runs, including a go-ahead RBI single from Kyle Hudson off reliever Josh Roenicke, to hand the Twins a 9-4 loss on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.
A pair of Twins home runs in the eighth inning had erased a 3-1 deficit.
James Beresford and Ray Olmedo hit their first homers of the Grapefruit League season off Orioles reliever Todd Redmond, both to right field, with one out in the eighth. Joe Benson doubled in-between the longballs, making Olmedo's a two-run shot that fully erased the two-run lead Baltimore held at the inning's start.
A lefty vying for the Orioles' fifth starter job, Brian Matusz fanned seven -- including six of the first seven he faced -- in four no-hit innings.
Five in a row went down on strikes at one point, starting with Matusz's last batter in the first inning. He consistently reached 91 mph and was perfect for his first 11 batters, until Josh Willingham drew a two-out walk in the fourth.
"I got to think way back," Matusz said, when asked if he had ever struck out six of the first seven before. "For me I don't think about those things, the strikeouts. It's more just making quality pitches and attacking."
Batting cleanup, Justin Morneau finished 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in his first game back since Team Canada's run in the World Baseball Classic ended on Sunday. Matusz struck out Morneau swinging to start the second, and Morneau grounded back to Matusz after a long at-bat that followed Willingham's walk in the fourth.
"He's one of the best hitters in the league for a reason," Matusz said. "He just kept fighting."
Baltimore potentially would have opened the scoring two batters into the game had Twins right fielder Chris Parmelee not robbed O's shortstop Ryan Flaherty of a solo homer with a leap at the wall. The catch was made more impressive because Parmelee had not played since March 4 because of right groin tightness.
Orioles right fielder Chris Dickerson put one out of Parmelee's reach with one out in the third, hitting a solo shot for his first homer of the spring and a 1-0 Baltimore lead. That came off Twins starter Kevin Correia, who was charged with one of the two runs that scored in his 4 2/3 innings. Correia had zero walks or strikeouts.
The O's went up 2-0 later in the third.
"It was good," Correia said of the outing. "Everything felt pretty good. I was throwing a lot of strikes and getting ahead of guys. It's pretty much everything I'm looking to do at this part of spring."
Correia had some help from second baseman Brian Dozier, who more than once ranged up the middle.
"Dozier made a couple of great plays," Correia said. "It's kind of what I need pitching out there. I didn't have any strikeouts or any walks so the ball is going out there and we need to field it."
Minnesota scored its first run on a Flaherty throwing error in the fifth, cutting Minnesota's lead to 2-1. Baltimore went up 3-1 on a one-out Travis Ishikawa single in the seventh.
Up next for the Orioles: Kevin Gausman starts for the Orioles at home on Thursday, followed by Dylan Bundy, in a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Rays on MLB.TV. Jeremy Hellickson goes for Tampa Bay.