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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 20th (All times Eastern)

Baltimore Orioles (8-5) at LA Angels of Anaheim (4-9), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Brian Matusz (0-2, 8.38) LA Angels - Jerome Williams (0-1, 16.88)

(Sports Network) - Brian Matusz could be pitching for his spot in the rotation this evening when the Baltimore Orioles open a three-game series with the struggling Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.

The fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft, Matusz was awful last season going 1-6 with a 10.29 earned run average in 12 starts. Things haven't gone any better this year, as Matusz is 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA through his first two starts, and he's allowed 13 hits in his first 9 2/3 innings.

"It's so frustrating," Matusz said. "I know what went on last year, I know it was a horrible year and so far I'm off to a horrible start."

Matusz, who has not won since June 6 of last season, has also walked more batters (eight) than he's struck out (five), and he hasn't completed six innings in either of his first two outings.

He's faced the Angels three times and is 1-2 with a 5.74 ERA against them.

The Orioles enter tonight's tilt on a bit of a roll after taking three of four from the Chicago White Sox following a 5-3 win in Thursday's finale. Adam Jones hit a two-run homer and finished with three RBI for Baltimore, which has won five of its last seven.

Jason Hammel (2-0) gave up two runs on six hits and three walks over six innings and tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts in the win. Jim Johnson struck out Alex Rios with two down and the bases loaded in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, is still trying to get it going and comes into this series after dropping three of four to the Oakland Athletics. After winning the opener of that series the Angels lost the final three games, including Thursday's 4-2 setback.

Albert Pujols hit three doubles and scored a run for the Angels, who have lost seven of their last nine. Pujols has hit safely in his last nine games and has raised his average to .296 but is still homerless through 54 at-bats.

C.J. Wilson (2-1) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on two hits and three walks while striking out eight to suffer the loss.

Tonight the Angels turn to righty Jerome Williams, who was roughed up by the New York Yankees in his first start. Williams couldn't get out of the third inning in that one, as he surrendered five runs and five hits and walked three batters in just 2 2/3 frames.

Williams, though, has beaten the Orioles both times he has faced them and has pitched to a 2.51 ERA in doing so.

The Angels were 6-3 versus the O's a year ago after Baltimore won all six games in the 2010 season series.

04/20 11:38:22 ET