The stuff in the middle was awfully good.
Maybe this was Wei-Yin Chen’s Oreo debut.
Chen retired 12 in a row after giving up a homer and double and hitting a batter among the first four that he faced. He led, 4-1, going into the sixth, but the Yankees have tied the game and knocked him out of it.
Two of the three runs in the sixth were unearned because of Mark Reynolds’ two-out error on Russell Martin’s sharp bouncer to third base. The ball slammed off Reynolds’ chest and rolled too far away for him to throw out Martin.
The Yankees loaded the bases with one out on two singles and the only walk issued by Chen tonight. Andruw Jones’ sacrifice fly reduced the Orioles’ lead to 4-2, Reynolds’ error further cut into it and Brett Gardner singled on Chen’s 101st pitch to tie the game.
Right fielder Nick Markakis wasn’t positioned to bring his momentum forward while catching Jones’ fly ball, and he didn’t make his typical strong and accurate throw to the plate. We can only guess whether the abdominal surgery in January was a factor.
Chen is charged with four runs (two earned) and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, with one walk, six strikeouts, one home run and one hit batter. He threw 59 strikes among those 101 pitches.
Matt Lindstrom replaced Chen and retired Derek Jeter.
You could argue that Chen should have been removed with Gardner coming to the plate, but the Orioles had a lefty vs. lefty matchup, if you believe in that sort of thing. Troy Patton is the only southpaw in the bullpen and he wasn’t warming.
Anyway, it was a mostly positive debut for Chen, but he appeared to run out of gas in the last inning.