The Yankees won tonight while the Orioles split their doubleheader, leaving a 1 1/2-game gap between the top two teams in the American League East.
Wei-Yin Chen took the loss in Game 2, allowing five runs and nine hits in five innings. He’s completed seven innings only once in his last nine starts and hasn’t won since Aug. 19.
“It’s hard to do,” manager Buck Showalter said after the 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays. “He spoiled us at a very high level this year and will again. You’ve been here. You’ve seen all the extra rest we’ve done with him. Looking today, he’s one of the league leaders in starts, which tells you how hard it is to do. And that’s why they’re in such demand, guys that can do the things that he’s capable of. But he gave us a chance to win. He didn’t give in. Threw some zeros up there afterward and allowed us to have our chances.
“This guy’s pitched very well for us for many months. Not days, not starts, but again, again and again. We’re lucky to have him and proud of him, and he gave us a chance to win tonight.”
The Orioles kept loading the bases without really cashing in. The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the seventh and J.P. Arencibia hit a grand slam off Jake Arrieta.
“We were very close to doing the same thing they did to us,” Showalter said. “There were a lot of things that went on in that ballgame. We played a good first game and had our chances in the second game. Did some good things pitching-wise. Just not enough of them.
“Very hard to sweep a doubleheader in the major leagues. It wasn’t from a lack of effort. That’s why when you get a rainout you try to play because you know the challenge ahead of you somewhere down the line. The Blue Jays have a lot of pride.
“You know they’re going to score some runs. Coming out of the extra-inning game in Boston and the road trip, you’re always going to be a little - I don’t want to say short in the ‘pen - but some people you don’t want to push too much. But we had our opportunities. Had some good people up. A lot of good at-bats to set that up to get to that point. There’s two parts to that equation. One is setting up the potential and the other is trying to carry it through.”
Arrieta struck out all three batters he faced in the sixth after replacing Chen with two on and none out. He almost escaped the seventh-inning jam by retiring two batters without a run scoring before Arencibia came to the plate.
“He’ll tell you he wishes he had done a better job of not creating that situation, but he came in a pretty no-win situation and punched out three guys and was a pitch away from getting us back in the dugout again,” Showalter said. “I’m proud of his effort. Jake’s competing and Arencibia’s a good hitter. Just made a mistake to him out over the plate. We had a tough time keeping the ball in the ballpark the second game.”