SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Brian Matusz made the most of the opportunity to pitch against the defending National League champions.
On Sunday, Matusz gave up three hits and a run in his five innings — the longest and most effective outing by an Orioles starter this spring — in Baltimore's 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Matusz faced a lineup full of veterans and gave up a run on Jimmy Rollins' fourth-inning leadoff double and Chase Utley's run-scoring single.
Matusz struck out two and did not walk a batter.
"I didn't know what their lineup was going to be. When I was warming up, I heard their roster, and I said: 'that's everyone,'" Matusz said.
"I got a little bit amped up. I got excited. At times in the game, I was overthrowing a little bit."
The Orioles have won just three of 12 games this spring, and until Saturday hadn't had a pitcher complete three innings. Matusz was set to throw four innings and 60 pitches.
Instead he breezed through five innings in 57 pitches.
"I was really attacking the zone, and it's tough to do with a lineup like that," Matusz said.
"National League Champions — that's a good lineup. They're not going to punch out as easily."
Orioles manager Dave Trembley was relieved to get a creditable start from Matusz.
"It sets the tone. That's what the good ones do," Trembley said. "In order for us to be successful, we're going to have to have good starting pitching."
Kyle Kendrick pitched four scoreless innings for the Phillies. He allowed two singles and hit one batter.
Kendrick is competing with Jamie Moyer to be Philadelphia's fifth starter, and he's doing just fine. He has allowed four hits in nine innings.
"As long as I keep pitching quality outings, that's all I can do," Kendrick said. "I'm not trying to be perfect."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is pleased with how Kendrick is throwing.
"He pitched good. He threw strikes. He moved the ball around good," Manuel said. "We're not surprised. We're going to keep stretching him out."
Adam Jones had two hits and a seventh-inning sacrifice fly that drove in the game-winning run for the Orioles.
Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
NOTES: Orioles 2B Brian Roberts, who has yet to play this spring due to a back injury, will return to Baltimore to be examined by a back specialist on Monday. ... Philadelphia RHP Brad Lidge, who underwent offseason elbow surgery, will pitch in a minor league game on Tuesday. He's yet to pitch during spring training. ... Phillies LHP J.C. Romero, also recovering from offseason elbow surgery, threw 40 pitches on the side on Sunday morning. ... Moyer will pitch in a split-squad game against Toronto on Monday. ... Baltimore 1B Michael Aubrey, who left Saturday's game with New York due to a tight groin, is likely to miss a few days. ... The Orioles set a stadium attendance record for the second time in a week. The crowd of 8,092 was four more than for the March 7 game against Boston.