BALTIMORE – Rookie Brian Matusz pitched eight innings, and the Baltimore Orioles used a four-run seventh to defeat Colby Lewis and the skidding Texas Rangers 4-0 on Thursday night.
Matusz (5-12) gave up five hits, walked one and struck out six. Only two Rangers reached second base and none advanced to third.
It was the fourth straight defeat for the Rangers, who were coming off a three-game sweep in Tampa Bay. Texas received a fine pitching performance from Lewis (9-10) until the seventh, when Baltimore did all its scoring on five hits.
After Corey Patterson hit an RBI single, Brian Roberts doubled in two runs and scored on a single by Nick Markakis.
The Orioles improved to 11-6 under Buck Showalter, whose previous managerial job was with Texas from 2003-06.
The game was marred by a sixth-inning confrontation between Baltimore's Ty Wigginton and Rangers No. 9 hitter Andres Blanco, who was tagged out at third by Wigginton while trying to stretch a double into a triple. Wigginton blocked the base with his leg, and Blanco hurt his hand with a headfirst slide.
Blanco and Wigginton yelled at each other, and Blanco had to be restrained by third base coach Dave Anderson. A few players and coaches from each dugout stepped onto the field, and several pitchers emerged from the Baltimore bullpen before order was restored.
The other four hits against Matusz were singles. The left-hander was 1-7 at home this season and owned a 10.95 ERA in three previous career starts against Texas.
It was the third straight game in which a Baltimore starter went eight innings — the first time that's happened since May 2005, when Daniel Cabrera, Erik Bedard and Sidney Ponson did it.
Koji Uehara completed Baltimore's third shutout of the season. Texas had been blanked only once previously.
Lewis allowed four runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He's 0-5 over his past six starts despite logging a 3.20 ERA over that span.
For six innings, Lewis matched Matusz zero for zero.
After Matt Wieters led off the Baltimore third with a double, Blanco made a fine diving catch of Patterson's broken-bat liner to second. The Orioles then loaded the bases before Lewis struck out Markakis and Wigginton.
Baltimore didn't get another runner in scoring position until the sixth, when Wigginton hit a two-out double before Luke Scott popped out.
NOTES: The eight innings matches Matusz's career high. ... Baltimore leads the season series 5-2. ... Texas' Josh Hamilton went 0 for 4. He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and 1 for 16 in his last five games. ... The Rangers have lost six straight on the road.