Brian Matusz felt like he needed one more rehab start before rejoining the Orioles. Now, it's up to the Orioles to decide whether he was right.
Matusz allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out seven in five-plus innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Friday night against Columbus. He threw 83 pitches, 53 for strikes.
Matusz started the sixth inning and allowed the first two hitters to reach on singles. He was then removed from the game in favor of Pat Egan, who allowed one of the inherited runners to score.
In three rehab starts -- one at Single-A Frederick, one at Double-A Bowie and Friday's start for Norfolk -- Matusz compiled a 1.80 ERA. He allowed two earned runs on nine hits and four walks while striking out 10 over 15 innings.
"We'll see what the reports are that we get back," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "We'll listen to Brian, but we'll also listen to the people that are there. We'll make a decision, I think, by [today]. I know that Brian has tentative travel plans both ways."
Matusz will join the club in Oakland today and throw his bullpen session Sunday in front of pitching coach Mark Connor. If the Orioles deem him ready, Matusz will make his 2011 big league debut Wednesday in the series and road-trip finale against the Seattle Mariners.
Matusz, 24, went 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA in 32 starts for the Orioles last season. He was lined up to be the team's No. 2 starter before he went on the disabled list during the team's first series of the season because of a strained left intercostal muscle.
Andino mad at himself
A day after failing to get a bunt down in a key spot for the second time in a three-game span, Orioles second baseman Robert Andino was still down about the poor execution despite doubling and scoring the game-winning run in Thursday's victory over the Kansas City Royals.
When asked if he feels he made up for it with what he did later in the game, Andino said, "I didn't make up for it. I have to get it down no matter what. I know how to do it. I can bunt. I just haven't been doing it. I just haven't been getting the job done. I take that [stuff] personally, I take that [stuff] to heart because it could be a big part of the game, and I have to get it down."
Andino has been taking extra bunting practice, but it hasn't carried over to games.
"[The coaches] don't have to tell me," he said. "That's baseball. You have to do it."
Gomez to manage Aberdeen
Leo Gomez, who played for the Orioles from 1990 to 1995, was promoted to be manager of the short-season Single-A Aberdeen Ironbirds of the New York-Penn League.
Gomez, 45, spent the past two seasons as a coach in the organization, serving as the field coach at Aberdeen last year and filling the same role for the Gulf Coast Orioles in 2009.
In six seasons for the Orioles, Gomez compiled a .245 average with 62 homers and 203 RBIs in 475 games. He played the 1996 season with the Chicago Cubs.
The Aberdeen job became vacant when Gary Kendall, who had managed the Ironbirds the previous three seasons, was promoted to the managerial post at Bowie. Gomez's staff at Aberdeen includes pitching coach Scott McGregor and field coaches Moe Hill and Cesar Devarez. The Ironbirds start their season June 17.
Around the horn
First baseman Derrek Lee (strained left oblique) is expected to start baseball activities Monday. Starter Justin Duchscherer (strained left hip) is scheduled to throw three innings in an extended spring game today. Before outfielder Nolan Reimold went 4-for-4 with two homers on Thursday, Rafael Palmeiro (1995), Roberto Alomar (1997) and Albert Belle (1999) had been the only Orioles to homer twice as part of a 4-for-4 or better game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Vladimir Guerrero's game-winning hit Thursday was his 14th, tying him with Orlando Cabrera for the fourth-most among active players. David Ortiz (18), Andruw Jones (17) and former Oriole Miguel Tejada (15) are the top three. Norfolk right-hander Ryan Drese was granted his release by the organization. Drese was 2-3 with a 6.55 ERA in nine appearances (six starts) for the Tides. Drese is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Houston Astros.
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