As the Orioles packed up for their final road trip of a surprising first half Sunday evening, left-hander Brian Matusz was left behind, the obvious casualty of a club — and a starting rotation — that is seemingly wilting as the summer progresses.

Matusz, in a funk for his past five starts, secured a trip to Triple-A Norfolk by failing to get through the fifth in a 6-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians — the Orioles' ninth defeat in their past 12 games.

"In my last five, six outings [I] just haven't been getting the job done," said Matusz, moments after a 15-minute, closed-door meeting with Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "Today was just really inconsistent … It's killing the bullpen. It's making it tough, so moves have to be made. I have to go down and get better."

Things have declined so far for the club's one-time future ace — who appeared to be turning around his season with a 4-2 record in May — that when Showalter walked to the mound to remove Matusz with two runners on and no outs in the fifth, a faction of the announced crowd of 16,689 cheered. And when the 25-year-old walked to the dugout he was showered with boos.

"Right now, my confidence isn't there because I haven't been winning ballgames," said Matusz, who has lost five straight and is 6-19 in the last season and a half. "I know I have the stuff, but I just have to put it all together."

Suddenly, as the All-Star break looms one week away, the Orioles (42-36) are steamrolling toward an identity crisis.

They are in second place in the American League East and just acquired a likely Hall of Famer — Jim Thome — for a prospective pennant push. They are also injured and undermanned.

Maybe they are a little bit of both, but on the afternoon in which the Orioles learned they would send multiple players to the All-Star Game for the first time since 2005, the team again resembled the also-rans that have been so prominent at Camden Yards in the last decade-plus.