DETROIT (AP) — Brian Matusz is in line to break a record held by Roy Halladay — but it’s not a very flattering one.
Matusz gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings Sunday in Baltimore’s 10-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Assuming he doesn’t pitch again, he’ll finish the year with a 10.69 ERA, a record high for a pitcher with at least 40 innings in a season.
Halladay had a 10.64 ERA for Toronto in 2000, according to STATS, LLC.
“I’m going to have a lot of motivation going into this winter, because I’m never going to forget what this has felt like,” Matusz said. “I’ve got a lot of mistakes to learn from.”
Matusz (1-9) allowed a first-inning homer to Miguel Cabrera, who kept the pressure on in his push for the American League batting title. Cabrera left the game with lightheadedness after lining out to left field in the seventh inning. Detroit manager Jim Leyland didn’t seem concerned about his slugger.
“He got dizzy,” Leyland said. “I just didn’t want to take any chances.”
Cabrera began the day one point behind Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez, but raised his average from .339 to .341.
Brad Penny (11-11) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings for the win.
Matusz went 10-12 last year and was showing promise, but this was only his 12th start of 2011. He had a wart removed from the middle finger of his pitching hand in early March, got hit hard later in spring training and later was struck by a line drive during a simulated game.
Set to start the second game of the regular season, Matusz was instead scratched and put on the disabled list because of a strained rib cage muscle on his left side.
Matusz came off the disabled list and made an impressive season debut on June 1, holding Seattle to one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. He won his next start, but hasn’t since.
The Orioles sent Matusz to Triple-A in late June. He came back from the minors in mid-August.
“It’s a work in progress, but I fully expect him to be a very good option for us next season,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “Once he gets back the command of the fastball, it is going to open up a lot of things for him.”
The Tigers have clinched the AL Central and are now playing largely for playoff position and individual honors. Cabrera hit a two-run shot in the first inning, his 29th home run of the year, and Victor Martinez, Don Kelly and Jhonny Peralta added homers for Detroit.
After Cabrera gave Detroit a 2-0 lead, Delmon Young hit an RBI single in the third to make it 3-0.
Baltimore scored three runs in the fifth to tie it. Pedro Florimon Jr. drove in two of them with a double, his first career hit.
Detroit rallied back. After Cabrera hit a two-out single in the bottom of the inning, Martinez followed with a three-run homer to make it 6-3. Kelly added a three-run shot an inning later.
Nolan Reimold hit a three-run homer in the eighth for the Orioles — an estimated 434 feet to left-center — to make it 9-6.
Peralta’s solo shot in the bottom half gave Detroit another insurance run.
The Tigers are 27-9 since Aug. 19 and have pulled away from the rest of the AL Central. They are now hoping to secure home-field advantage in the first round of the postseason.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)