The outing that Wei-Yin Chen provided for the Baltimore Orioles last night is what they’ve been hoping for in terms of starting pitching this year. Chen’s line: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Obviously the three hits and one run are probably the most important part of that stat line. However Chen was also pitching-to-contact, which enabled him to go deeper into the game. Tommy Hunter pitched two innings in relief, which means that going into the series finale tonight the O’s will have a rested bullpen. If they can get a similar performance this evening, they’ll have a rested bullpen going into the series with Toronto this weekend which would be huge.
The O’s took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Manny Machado tripled Nate McLouth home. Machado himself would score Texas starter Lindblom’s wild pitch. However it was the fourth inning when the Birds really made their waves. Following two walks to lead off the inning, Brian Roberts ripped an RBI-single to score Matt Wieters. Nolan Reimold then ripped a three-run homer to left on the first pitch he saw, giving the O’s a 6-0 lead. Ironically, Reimold wasn’t in Buck Showalter‘s original lineup. Chris Dickerson was originally listed as the DH, but he was scratched with a sore shoulder. Texas would put up a run in the sixth on a fielder’s choice-RBI by Adrian Beltre, but it obviously wasn’t enough to bring Texas anywhere near the Orioles in the game.
The pitching is ultimately what won this game for the O’s, as he managed to give the Birds the outing for which they had been looking for some time. After the game manager Buck Showalter said that the team might option Chen to the minors for the all-star break so as to give him another start. One thing for sure is that Chen won’t start again for the O’s until after next week’s break, however if he’s optioned to the minors he could get an intermediary start in between (maybe even two). The O’s did a similar thing with Chris Tillman last year; Tillman came up to start the game on the fourth of July for the O’s in Seattle, only to be sent back to the minors to get a start during the all-star break. Here’s the other thing; if Chris Dickerson ends up needing to go to the DL, the O’s wouldn’t even need to wait the required ten days before recalling Chen. The O’s will wait until today to see if Dickerson’s shoulder is feeling better, and if not he’ll have an MRI tomorrow.
The Orioles will finish this series with Texas tonight at the yard, with Miguel Gonzalez starting for the Birds. He’ll be opposed by Ross Wolf, a former Orioles’ farmhand. Yu Darvish was scheduled to start the game, but he was sent to the DL with a strained back. However the Orioles aren’t truly done with Texas, as they’ll head down to Arlington next weekend in the first series of the second half.