BALTIMORE – The momentum that Brian Matusz and the Baltimore Orioles gained during a wildly successful road trip vanished in rapid fashion against the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers.
Matusz yielded seven runs in five innings, and Baltimore's five-game winning streak ended unceremoniously with a 14-3 defeat Monday night.
Coming off a run of 14 straight losing seasons, the Orioles got off to an outstanding start this year and owned the best record in the majors after going 5-1 on a journey through Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. On this night, however, they were no match for the Rangers in a duel of first-place teams.
Matusz (1-4) yielded 10 hits and left the mound with Baltimore in a 7-0 hole in the sixth, a poor encore to his sharp outing at home against Toronto on April 26 and his win at Yankee Stadium on May 1.
"Any rough outing is disappointing, especially with the momentum we had," the left-hander said. "I just didn't keep the team in the ballgame today."
Asked if the defeat could have a long-term effect, manager Buck Showalter said, "That's not something our guys or I'm going to dwell on. It's part of what we do for a living. You get thrown some self-inflicted things that you have to deal with and nobody's going to feel sorry for you. Hopefully get a good night's rest and turn the page."
Robert Andino and Wilson Betemit homered for Baltimore and J.J. Hardy had three hits, giving him eight over two games. But it wasn't nearly enough to prevent the Orioles from absorbing their most lopsided loss of the year.
"I think we will be able to get past it," Hardy said.
Brandon Snyder, the Orioles' top draft choice in 2005, hit a two-run single in the second inning, a three-run drive in the sixth and an RBI single during a seven-run ninth. He played in only 16 games with Baltimore before the Rangers got him for cash considerations in January.
"I'm probably going to have to wake up tomorrow and read something to make sure it happened," Snyder said. "It's a special night, being back in Baltimore, but the biggest thing is having my family there."
Snyder went to high school in Northern Virginia and said more than a dozen friends and family were in attendance. Playing well for his team was his motivation as opposed to gaining a measure of revenge against the Orioles.
"It's something that kind of bugged me in the past, but they were also the team to give me my opportunity to come here," Snyder said.
Prior to this start, he had one RBI in 11 games with the Rangers, on a solo homer against Toronto on Wednesday.
"He had a good night tonight and I'm happy for him. I'm also happy for my team," manager Ron Washington said.
Texas starter Matt Harrison (4-2) gave up three runs, six hits and a walk in seven innings. The left-hander yielded 15 runs and 22 hits in his previous two appearances, so pitching against the Orioles couldn't have come at a better time — he's now 4-0 lifetime against Baltimore, with all of the wins coming at Camden Yards.
Michael Young homered and drove in three runs and Josh Hamilton hit his 10th home run for the Rangers, who got 19 hits in their sixth straight win over Baltimore.
It was the most runs the Orioles allowed since a 17-3 loss to the Yankees last July.
The Rangers went up 2-0 in the second inning when Adrian Beltre walked, Nelson Cruz doubled and Snyder lined a two-out single to center. Young hit a sacrifice fly in the third for a 3-0 lead.
In the sixth, Mike Napoli singled in a run before Snyder chased Matusz with a shot to center. Matusz broke a 12-game losing streak in his previous start against the Yankees, but this 103-pitch outing raised his ERA to an unsightly 5.91.
Andino homered in the bottom half to make it 7-1, and Betemit hit a two-run drive in the seventh.
Young and Hamilton both connected with a man on against Jason Berken in the ninth.
NOTES: The Orioles added RHPs Berken and Stu Pomeranz from Triple-A Norfolk, while demoting Sunday's starter, RHP Tommy Hunter, and C Ronny Paulino. Pomeranz made his major league debut, allowing three hits in three scoreless innings. ... Beltre, who missed the previous five games with a left hamstring injury, returned as the Texas DH. He moved gingerly on the bases. ... On Tuesday, the Rangers will start RHP Neftali Feliz (1-1, 3.81 ERA) against Baltimore's Jake Arrieta (2-2, 3.52).