Chen removed in fourth (O’s lose 7-4, plus pictures)


Score: Rays 7, Orioles 4

Recap: Wei-Yin Chen didn’t make it out of the fourth inning today, allowing six runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 frames. The Rays collected five doubles and homered twice off him. On the plus side, Chen didn’t walk anybody. Suk-min Yoon served up a home run to Jayson Nix, but retired six of seven batters in his second appearance with the Orioles. Chris Davis singled in the first inning for his team-leading ninth RBI.

Need to know: Adam Jones was 2-for-16 with no extra-base hits or RBIs before today. He reached on an error, doubled, homered, scored three runs and stole two bases against the Rays. The steals came on the same play, with the Rays failing to cover third base after Jones easily swiped second.

On deck: Thursday, at Pirates in Bradenton, 7:05 p.m.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Suk-min Yoon made his second appearance for the Orioles today and served up a two-out home run to Tampa Bay’s Jayon Nix. He came back out for the sixth and retired the side in order, striking out Wilson Betemit on an off-speed pitch that completely fooled the former Oriole.

Adam Jones hit an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Rays’ lead to 7-3. He didn’t have a home run or RBI before today.

Tommy Hunter is working the top of the seventh.

Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen wasn’t discouraged by his outing today and managed to pull some positives out of it.

Chen allowed six runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings, with no walks and five strikeouts. Seven of the hits went for extra-bases, including a pair of RBI doubles by Betemit.

Earlier in the game, interpreter Louis Chao accompanied pitching coach Dave Wallace to the mound for a conference. He began to follow Buck Showalter after Cole Figueroa’s RBI double in the fourth, but the manager held out his hand. He would make this trip alone to remove Chen.

Chen threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes. He allowed one run and four hits over seven innings in his two previous starts.

“I felt very good overall. Some of the pitches were up so they squared them up. Other than that, I felt pretty good,” he said.

“I didn’t think about getting swings and misses, but I got more swings and misses with my fastball. I am happy about that. And I’m also happy about not issuing any walks. So overall it was pretty good.”

Chen said he wasn’t out of rhythm as the Rays sent eight batters to the plate in the third and scored three runs.

“The only reason is that I gave up more hits to the first hitter of the inning. That’s one of the issues. But I am going to work on it,” he said.

Is Chen where he needs to be with spring training winding down?

“I am pretty happy because we have one or two starts left in spring training and I will try to get ready for the season and will try to condition myself to be ready for the season,” Chen said. “Overall I’m on track, so I’m very happy.”

The Orioles need Chen to stay healthy this season after missing two months in 2013 with a strained oblique and undergoing surgery in October to remove bone spurs from his right knee.

“Every year, the goal is to stay healthy and this year I’m going to try to pitch more innings than before,” he said. “That’s my goal. But staying healthy is the goal for every year.

“I can’t say that (the knee) didn’t affect me, but I don’t know actually how much. But for this year I already got it taken care of and I’m going to concentrate on this season and I’m going to ready for the season. And I am not going to think about the knee anymore.”

Here are two picture’s from today’s game.

Hunter trying his hardest not to smile.
Yoon warming in the Orioles bullpen.


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