Orioles catcher Matt Wieters missed two games with a sore right biceps. He’s been missing a lot of pitches, too.
Wieters, mired in a 1-for-31 slump, hit a three-run homer off Oakland left-hander Travis Blackley in the bottom of the third inning to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead.
Wieters had struck out in 15 of his last 30 at-bats before today. He hadn’t homered since July 5 in Anaheim, when he posted his last multi-RBI game by collecting four against the Angels.
Southpaws tend to bring out the best in Wieters, but not his power. He was hitting .341 against them before today, but had only two of his 12 home runs from the right side of the plate.
Adam Jones gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead earlier in the inning with a double that scored Omar Quintanilla, who reached on an infield hit and raced to third base on an error by first baseman Chris Carter, who failed to catch Blackley’s pickoff throw. Blackley originally was charged with the error until a scoring change.
J.J. Hardy walked before Jones reached the gap in left-center field. Hardy held at third and trotted home on Wieters’ home run.
Quintanilla doubled in the fourth and is 10-for-24 with the Orioles. Can they really get rid of him when Robert Andino comes off the disabled list on Tuesday?
Wei-Yin Chen has tied his career high with nine strikeouts, and it’s only the fifth inning. He also fanned nine on July 3 in Seattle.
The only hit off Chen is Yoenis Cespedes’ leadoff single in the second, but newest Oriole Lew Ford cut off the ball in left-center field and threw out Cespedes at second.
Ford walked on five pitches in his first at-bat. He hasn’t played in the majors since September 2007. He’s used to being patient.
NOTE: Chen struck out Seth Smith in the fifth inning for a career-high 10 today.
Also, left-hander Dana Eveland cleared waivers, as expected, and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He’s scheduled to start Tuesday for the Tides.
Update: Somewhere, former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan is saying, “All Chris Carter does is make errors.”
Carter committed another one at first base, again missing a throw and allowing Hardy to score to increase the Orioles’ lead to 5-0 in the fifth.
The A’s broke through in the sixth on a leadoff walk to Jemile Weeks, an error on Quintanilla and a one-out single by Cespedes.
Chen notched his 11th strikeout, fanning Josh Reddick to break the major league record for a Taiwanese pitcher in one game. Chien-Ming Wang set the previous record on June 17, 2007.
Chen fanned Carter for No. 12, the most by an Orioles pitcher since Erik Bedard struck out 15 Texas Rangers to tie the franchise record on July 7, 2007. Darren O’Day replaced him after Brandon Inge singled with two outs to load the bases, and Derek Norris popped up.
Chen allowed one unearned run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings, walked four and struck out 12. He threw 108 pitches, 75 for strikes.
Former Orioles reliever Jim Miller is pitching in the bottom of the sixth inning.