NEW YORK - Wei-Yin Chen turned in the shortest start of his major league career on Tuesday, lasting only 3 2/3 innings in Boston. He exceeded it by one-third of an inning today in the Bronx.
Chen allowed three runs and four hits in four innings, with a career-high five walks and five strikeouts. He was pulled after throwing 82 pitches, only 50 for strikes.
Chen issued three walks in the fourth inning, including one to No. 9 hitter Chris Stewart that loaded the bases with one out. He walked Brett Gardner to force in a run, and Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly increased the Yankees lead to 3-0.
Robinson Cano struck out looking to end the inning - and Chen’s afternoon.
Chen had one clean inning, retiring the side in order in the second. He threw 26 pitches in the first, leaving the bases loaded, and gave up a two-out RBI single to Alfonso Soriano in the third.
In Chen’s last two starts, he’s allowed 11 runs and 12 hits in 7 2/3 innings, with eight walks and 10 strikeouts.
Is he tired? Is he hurt?
Chen’s only thrown 109 1/3 innings this season. He missed two months with a strained oblique. Hard to imagine that he’s gassed.
Kevin Gausman replaced Chen in the fifth and stranded pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson, who walked with two outs. Gausman struck out Soriano and Mark Reynolds.
Gausman also struck out two yesterday in a perfect inning.
Jeter’s RBI was the 1,258th of his career, surpassing Bernie Williams for sixth place on the Yankees all-time list.
Meanwhile, the Orioles haven’t scored in 17 consecutive innings. They have seven hits in that span, all of them singles.
They have four hits today off Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte as we head to the top of the sixth.
Update: After 18 straight scoreless innings, the Orioles broke loose for four runs in the seventh and lead 4-3.
J.J. Hardy hit an opposite-field, three-run homer off reliever Shawn Kelly to wipe out a 3-1 deficit.
Pettitte allowed back-to-back singles to Michael Morse and Danny Valencia - making them both 2-for-3 - and Kelley entered the game with no outs. Matt Wieters delivered an RBI single to end the scoreless drought, and Hardy barely cleared the fence, and Curtis Granderson’s glove, in right.
Hardy has 24 homers and 70 RBIs this season. And the Orioles have life.
Update II: The Orioles weren’t done. Adam Jones hit a three-run homer off Joba Chamberlain in the seventh to increase the lead to 7-3.
Jones has 28 homers and 98 RBIs this season.
Brian Roberts reached on a bunt single after Hardy’s homer and Nick Markakis walked. Manny Machado popped up a bunt - no idea whether he was bunting on his own - and Jones unloaded.
Francisco Rodriguez will pitch the eighth after Kevin Gausman, in line for the win, tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.