It was a couple of young guns dueling in Metrodome tonight, Brian Matusz against the debuting rookie, Armondo Gabino. With just five starts under his belt, Matusz was the veteran of the two.
Baltimore struck first and they did so early with three in the top of the second. After Matt Wieters and Melvin Mora singled, the young first baseman, Michael Aubrey, doubled to deep center and drove them both home. Next batter was Cesar Izturis who singled to drive in Aubrey for the 3-0 lead.
But, Brian Matusz was rattled in the bottom half of the inning. He quickly gave up two hits and then a long two run triple to the lead off hitter Denard Span to make the game 3-2.
Gabino had a rough third inning when he walked two and gave up a hit and a fielder’s choice. He was taken out of the game and replaced by Philip Humber who walked Michael Aubrey with the bases loaded to put the birds on top 4-2.
It was was a back and forth type game though that kept you on the edge of your seat. Justin Morneau hit a solo homer to right in the third to cut the lead to one at 4-3. But another bases loaded walk, this time to Matt Wieters, allowed Baltimore to regain a two run lead.
Dave Trembley pulled Brian Matusz after just five innings of work. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits, walked two, and struck out three. He had 99 pitches and was replaced by Brian Bass who gave up two runs in the sixth on a double and a walk.
Then, Joe Mauer grounded into a double play off of Mark Hendrickson to tie the game at six.
The tie stuck until the bottom of the ninth when Delman Young hit the walk off RBI single off of Kam Mickolio. It was Mickolio’s first run allowed of the season, he also recorded his first loss.
The O’s look to salvage one tomorrow in the finale of the three game set and their last game ever in the Metrodome.