Patton hadn’t gone more than 1 1/3 innings in his first three outings.
“He feels good physically,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Tonight was a good opportunity.”
Brian Matusz also tossed two scoreless innings against the Pirates and did more throwing in the bullpen to increase his workload to three innings.
“Brian threw the ball well. We pitched well,” Showalter said.
Wei-Yin Chen was charged with one earned run (two total) in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out four.
“He was in a good place,” Showalter said. “Arm feels good. He feels good physically, and I like where he is. We’ve just got to keep him where the finish line is.
“Good change-up. Struck out a couple guys they didn’t call strike three on.”
Showalter enlightened reporters to a new rule this season. A hitter can be called out if the bat slips out of his hands and interferes with an infielder. A broken bat is a different matter.
Danny Valencia committed an error at third base, but he might have been distracted by a broken bat. He made a sensational play later in the inning to record an out.
“He’s got some arm strength. He’s got some athletic skills,” Showalter said. “He hasn’t quite got on track offensively, but there’s a lot of time.”
Showalter made a nice gesture by playing minor league catcher Caleb Joseph, who recently got married and had his wife sitting behind home plate.
“He’s in deep love,” Showalter said.
Joseph committed a passed ball and hit into a double play, but it’s the thought that counts.