Wei-Yin Chen fell behind by five runs today before he could record his second out of the game.
The first inning continues to challenge Chen. He’s allowed 19 runs in the opening frame this season, the most in any inning. The Royals took a 4-0 lead against him on Aug. 9 before finally making an out. The Rays led 5-0 in the first back on June 1.
Chen has surrendered 20 home runs this season, including two today. Six of them have come in the first inning.
Omar Infante homered with one out in the first today, and Jhonny Peralta clubbed a three-run shot, as the Tigers sent nine batters to the plate and forced Chen to throw 41 pitches.
Chen allowed two home runs over his last four starts before today.
Steve Johnson began to warm in the Orioles’ bullpen. Johnson remains on the 25-man roster in case manager Buck Showalter needs a long reliever. Zach Britton worked seven innings last night. Chen barely made it through seven batters.
The Orioles will try to make up for Chen’s mistakes. Chris Davis took the first step by hitting his 20th home run, and his second in less than 24 hours.
Tigers 5, Orioles 1.
Update: Doug Fister must have issues in the second inning.
The Orioles scored four times to reduce Detroit’s lead to 5-4. Nick Markakis had an RBI double after Fister walked Taylor Teagarden, who’s batting .097, and J.J. Hardy celebrated his 30th birthday with a two-run double.
Fister is fuming in the Tigers’ dugout. He can only blame himself for throwing a 3-2 curveball to Teagarden for ball four.
Update II: The Orioles have taken a 7-5 lead, equaling the amount of runs Fister allowed in his last five starts combined.
Markakis and Hardy walked with two outs in the fourth inning, and Nate McLouth followed with a two-run triple.
Anyone still object to McLouth batting third?
Fister appeared to strike out Hardy on, yes, a 3-2 curveball, but plate umpire Vic Carapazza still hasn’t gotten familiar with the strike zone. Maybe someone should introduce him to it. Give it a name tag.
If there’s a match.com for umpires and strike zones, Carapazza needs to sign up. Meet for drinks. Whatever.
Adam Jones singled to score McLouth and give the Orioles a 7-5 lead.
Now it’s up to Chen to make it hold up before Showalter has to go to his bullpen.
Update III: Four relievers combined for four scoreless innings, and the Orioles won the series with a 7-5 victory over the Tigers.
Chen blanked them over four innings after a horrible first, giving the Orioles a chance to rally and improve to 51-0 when leading after the seventh. They’re 53-1 when leading after the eighth.
The Orioles are 42-18 in games decided by one (23-6) or two (19-12) runs. They improved to 24-39 when their opponent scores first, and they’re 57-31 when hitting a home run.
Jim Johnson recorded his 37th save, tying Gregg Olson for the second-highest single-season total in franchise history.
The Orioles won 16 series last year. Today marked their 22nd series win of 2012.