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Brian Matusz back from minors to start tonight vs. Athletics

St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 30: Starting pitcher Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles delivers to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 30, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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As expected, Brian Matusz has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and will start later tonight against the Athletics.

Matusz, who began the year on the disabled list with an intercostal strain, compiled an ugly 8.77 ERA and 18/11 K/BB ratio over his first six starts in the majors this season before being demoted at the end of June.

The 24-year-old left-hander has found more success in the minors, posting a 3.62 ERA and 34/18 K/BB ratio over eight starts. He has been especially impressive lately, allowing four runs over his last three starts, including a complete-game shutout last Thursday.

While the Orioles are hoping they’ll see the same pitcher who posted a 2.11 ERA over his final 11 starts last season, one of the more telling things to watch tonight will be his velocity. Matusz has averaged 86.7 mph on his fastball in the majors this season, down from 89.9 mph last season. The good news is that he sat in the 88-89 mph range during his complete-game shutout last week and topped out at 91 mph.