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Switch golfer? Matusz gets holes-in-one from both sides


Switch golfer? Matusz gets holes-in-one from both sides

SARASOTA, Fla. – Brian Matusz is an excellent golfer and recently the Orioles’ left-handed reliever became one of a handful of players to record a hole-in-one left-handed and right-handed.

About six years ago, Matusz who began golfing as a right-hander, had his first hole-in-one at a course at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, California. He was attending a friend’s bachelor party.

Matusz’s shot came on the par 3 17th hole. He used an 8 iron on the 156 yard hole.

“I stroked it, I hit in. I couldn’t see on the green. There were shadows. I couldn’t see where it landed, and sure enough we went up there, the ball was in the hole,” Matusz said. “We celebrated on the green and went nuts.”

He was a right-handed golfer because his father said he would have to share clubs with his brother, and thought he could be a stronger player if played left-handed. A few years ago, he made the switch.

“What’s the deal? I feel I should be hitting it further,” Matusz said.

He borrowed his friend’s left-handed clubs and felt the difference.

Matusz, who regularly shoots in the low-mid 80s, played at the Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz, and got his second hole-in-one, again on the par 3 17th hole. This time, he used a pitching wedge on the 145 yard hole.

“I was playing golf with my buddy Taylor, nailed it, crushed it, right at the hole and watched it bouncing straight into the hole,” Matusz said.

Matusz had a friend find that only five other golfers have recorded holes-in-one from both sides.

“Most circumstances are like mine, guys that started playing golf right-handed and then switched over [to] left-handed later in life. In golf, it’s just really rare to see anybody swing from both sides. It’s not like baseball where there’s an advantage doing one or the other,” Matusz said.

“It just so happened that I was lucky enough to have one right-handed and got lucky enough to one left-handed.”

RELATED: Showalter says Machado won't break Ripken's streak

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.

Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.

Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.

Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

DETROIT -- Dixon Machado came to the plate with only one big league homer to his name, but the way this game was going, anything seemed possible.

"Walking to the plate I was thinking, `What if I hit a homer right here?'" the Detroit infielder said. "He threw me a fastball away but when he came in with a pitch I was ready for it and I just hit it hard."

Machado led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run , capping a wild final two innings and lifting the Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday. Detroit led 2-1 before each team scored three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Baltimore's Luis Sardinas tied it with a solo shot off Shane Greene (1-0) in the top of the ninth, but then the 26-year-old Machado hit a line drive off Pedro Araujo (1-2) that cleared the fence in left field. It was his second homer in 299 big league at-bats.

The game was moved from 6:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. in anticipation of bad weather. Although it was a sparse crowd, to say the least , the sun did come out, and those fans in attendance were treated to quite a few homers.

Miguel Cabrera went deep on his 35th birthday, and Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks also homered for Detroit. Hicks hit a three-run shot in the eighth that put the Tigers up 5-4.

Danny Valencia hit a solo homer for the Orioles, who have lost five straight.

Detroit's Matthew Boyd allowed a run, two hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six. Baltimore's Kevin Gausman allowed two runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

Cabrera's solo homer put the Tigers up 2-1 in the sixth, but Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit RBI singles as part of a three-run rally by Baltimore in the eighth. The drive by Davis was nearly a home run, but it hit the wall and stayed in play.

"There were obviously a couple bad breaks -- our ball hits the top of the fence and comes back and their ball goes over -- but there were four or five breaks we got during the game on bounces or pitch calls," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you lose focus and start feeling sorry for yourselves, every team you play is going to take advantage and step on your throat."