BALTIMORE (AP) - No longer can Brian Matusz deny that he isn't the same pitcher as last year.
The Baltimore Orioles' left-hander gave up three home runs to the Cincinnati Reds, who rolled to a 10-5 victory Saturday night.
After giving up six runs in 4 2-3 innings and walking off the mound with a 6.85 ERA, Matusz (1-3) acknowledged that he still has a long way to go before regaining the form he displayed as a rookie last season.
In his defense, this was only his fifth start since coming off the disabled list with a rib injury. But he has yielded 14 runs and six homers in his last three outings.
``Well, the velocity obviously isn't there,' Matusz said. ``Being in my fifth start, I feel like I've made a lot of progress. But you just got to continue working and get a lot better.'
Manager Buck Showalter is willing to wait on the standout pitcher, who went 10-12 last year but was 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA over his final eight starts.
``His command just wasn't quite there, but we'll keep working and hopefully it will get better,' the manager said. ``I know that's a topic of conversation because of what we've seen before and we know what he's capable of.'
Joey Votto homered twice off Matusz and drove in five runs to power the Reds to victory. He hit a three-run drive in the third inning and put Cincinnati ahead for good with a two-run shot in the fifth.
The two home runs matched the total of his previous 19 games and gave him 101 for his career. The reigning NL MVP went 3 for 4 with a walk to raise his batting average to .320.
``That was a big night. Hit his 100th home run,' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ``Boy, we need him badly.'
Jonny Gomes, Scott Rolen and Drew Stubbs also connected for the Reds, whose five home runs were a season high.
Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy homered for Baltimore. It was the first time the Orioles hit four homers in a game since Aug. 10, 2010, in Cleveland.
But Baltimore couldn't hit enough long balls to make up for Matusz's struggle on the mound.
``Very bad locations to quality hitters,' Matusz said. ``With Votto, there's not many guys in the league that will hit a 3-2 curveball like that from a left-hander over the left-field wall. It's got to be in a better location.'
Bronson Arroyo (7-6) won his third straight start despite allowing a career-high tying four homers in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander gave up nine hits, walked three and struck out six.
``I got the balls up, they hit them in the air,' Arroyo said. ``But luckily for us it was an American League game. Our guys slugged it out with them.'
The interleague game attracted a crowd of 38,976 - nearly 18,000 more fans than the Orioles averaged over their previous 38 dates.
Jones put the Orioles up 1-0 in the first inning with his 13th home run, the second in two games. Gomes tied it in the second with a drive to right.
Chris Heisey led off the third with a double and Brandon Phillips got an infield hit before Votto hit a 3-2 pitch into the right-field seats. Markakis hit a two-run shot in the bottom half to make it 4-3.
Wieters tied it in the fourth with his seventh homer, but later in the inning Hardy bounced into a double play with runners at the corners and one out.
Votto made it 6-4 in the fifth with his 11th homer of the season.
``I really couldn't go out there feeling too comfortable once we got the 6-4 lead because I realized runs are coming pretty quickly in this ballpark,' Arroyo said.
After Rolen hit a two-run drive off Brad Bergesen to make it 8-4 in the seventh, Hardy responded with a solo shot in the bottom half.
Stubbs opened the eighth with a homer off Bergesen, and Brandon Phillips added an RBI single - the first run of the game that did not come as the result of a home run.
NOTES: Markakis has hit in 15 straight games, longest streak by an Oriole this season. ... The Reds intend to bring RHP Homer Bailey off the disabled list to start in Sunday's series finale. ... Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman struck out Wieters and Robert Andino in the ninth inning with fastballs clocked at 101 mph.
The Associated Press News Service
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