Two pitchers desperately in need of a win square off at Yankee Stadium tonight when Phil Hughes and the New York Yankees continue a three-game set against Brian Matusz and the Baltimore Orioles.
Hughes was awful on Wednesday in Texas, as he failed to get out of the third inning, allowing four runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings to drop to 1-3 on the year, while raising his earned run average to an abysmal 7.87.
"I'm just not doing it right now," said Hughes. "I don't think it really matters what the situation is; if you're not performing, something has to change."
Hughes has faced the O's 13 times (10 starts) and is 4-3 with a 5.24 ERA against them.
Matusz, meanwhile, has been just as bad, going 0-3 with a 5.66 ERA following a 2011 campaign that saw him go 1-9 with a 10.69 ERA. The young left-hander, though, showed signs of snapping out of this funk on Thursday against Toronto, as he allowed two unearned runs in six innings, but did not get a decision.
"I was able to go out there with a little bit of confidence today," said Matusz. "I've been working real hard in the weight room and with [pitching coach] Rick Adair and ... got myself into a groove."
Still, he is winless in his last 12 decisions dating back to last season.
"He pitches like that, he's going to get all the wins he wants," manager Buck Showalter said.
Matusz lost to the Yanks back on April 9 and is just 2-5 lifetime against them with a 5.10 ERA in eight games.
The Yankees continued their mastery of the Orioles in Monday's opener, as Eric Chavez's two-run homer backed Hiroki Kuroda's solid start to carry New York to a 2-1 win.
Kuroda (2-3) limited Baltimore to one run on four hits and one walk over his seven-inning performance, while David Robertson and Mariano Rivera each hurled a scoreless inning of relief to finish off New York's third win in four games.
The Orioles, riding a 6-1 stretch coming in, wasted a solid effort from Jason Hammel (3-1), who took his first loss despite allowing only two runs on five hits over six frames.
The Yankees are now 4-0 against the Orioles this season, and they're 43-15 against Baltimore since the beginning of the 2009 campaign. They've also posted double-digit win totals against the Orioles in 14 individual seasons since 1982.