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August 6, 2009

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Rookie spoils Washburn's Detroit debut

ROOKIE Baltimore pitcher Brian Matusz made a dream start to his major league career on Tuesday, leading the Orioles to an 8-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers and spoiling Jarrod Washburn's arrival in Motor City.

Earlier, Washburn (8-7) had been named the American League pitcher of the month for July but the hard-throwing lefty will have earned few August votes for his first outing since leaving Seattle for Detroit a week ago.

Instead it was 22-year-old Matusz (1-0) who grabbed the spotlight, yielding just one run on six hits in five innings of sturdy work to seal the win.

"It was everything I dreamed of and more," Matusz said. "I dreamed about that day since I was a little kid, every time someone makes their debut you think, that could be me some day."

In other AL games, it was: Twins 10, Indians 1; Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3; Rays 4, Red Sox 2 (in 13 innings); Mariners 7, Royals 6; White Sox 5, Angels 4; and Athletics 6, Rangers 0.

Arriving in Detroit, Michigan, via a trade deadline deal with the Mariners, the stage had been set for an ideal Motown introduction for Washburn with the AL East last-place Orioles providing the opposition for the Central division-leading Tigers.

The pitching assignments also looked like a mismatch, with Washburn, a World Series winner, going up against an untested rookie, who was summoned from the Orioles Double A minor league affiliate in Bowie earlier on Tuesday.

Washburn entered the game on a hot streak after allowing just three runs over his previous five starts but surrendered six runs on six hits, including two home runs, in 5 1/3 innings against the Orioles.

"I didn't do my job, I didn't have command," Washburn said. "I really wanted to get on the right foot and have a good start and give everybody a good first impression but it was exactly the opposite of that."

Matusz got plenty of support from the Orioles batters, who pushed across runs in the first and second innings before putting the game out of reach with a four-run burst in the sixth to jump 7-1 in front.


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