In 32 starts last season, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen posted a 5.91 ERA and allowed seven home runs in the first inning. In his eight starts this season, he posted a 2.25 ERA and didn’t surrender a home run in the opening frame.
Fresh off the disabled list tonight, Chen retired the Rangers in order in the top of the first inning at Camden Yards. Ian Kinsler flied to center field and Jurickson Profar and Nelson Cruz struck out.
Chen threw 21 pitches. Kinsler worked him for six, Profar eight and Cruz seven.
Manny Machado singled in the bottom of the first inning for his 124th hit this season. Miguel Cabrera began the night with 126 to lead the majors.
Chris Davis grounded out to strand two runners, making him 1-for-22 with 12 strikeouts during his slump. He’s bothered by a bad cold, similar to the one T.J. McFarland dealt with while the Orioles were in New York. Other players in the clubhouse also are under the weather.
The Orioles have lost seven of their last eight home games to the Rangers dating back to April 9, 2011. Chen is seeking his first win since May 12 in Minnesota, his final game before going on the disabled list with a strained oblique.
In his only career start against the Rangers, Chen allowed one earned run (two total) in 7 2/3 innings on May 10, 2012 at Camden Yards.
The Rangers are placing pitcher Yu Darvish on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right shoulder, eliminating him from Thursday’s series finale. Former Orioles farmhand Ross Wolf could make the start if he isn’t used in relief tonight.
The Orioles will counter with Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed four earned runs and eight hits in five innings and took the loss in his only career start against the Rangers on Aug. 20, 2012 in Arlington.
Darvish has faced the Orioles once in his major league career, in the American League Wild Card game in Arlington. He allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits, with seven strikeouts, in 6 2/3 innings.
Update: Chen has allowed one baserunner in three innings, on a walk to Elvis Andrus in the second. He was up to 40 pitches after the second, but needed only six to retire the side in order in the third.
On the MASN telecast, Gary Thorne said Chris Dickerson was apparently injured while taking batting practice. He tossed his bat and walked off the field with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells.
Dickerson was a late scratch from the lineup, with Nolan Reimold replacing him as the designated hitter. Reimold bounced to the mound in his first at-bat.
Update II: Machado tripled in the bottom of the third to score Nate McLouth, who reached on an infield hit, and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Machado leads the majors with 36 multi-hit games. He has three triples this season.
Adam Jones walked with two outs, his second since May 18. So, see, he does walk. Machado scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 2-0.