Chen a big hit so far tonight (Chen goes 6 1/3, O’s win 7-1)

Wei-Yin Chen retired 12 of the first 13 Tampa Bay batters tonight, the only baserunner coming on Desmond Jenning’s walk with one out in the fourth.

Too soon for players in the dugout to ignore him?

Chen’s flirtation with a no-hitter ended with one out in the fifth, when James Loney doubled to right-center field. Fans applauded Chen. It was fun while it lasted.

Brandon Guyer reached on an infield hit, but Yunel Escobar grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the fifth and keep Chen’s shutout intact.

Chen has thrown 64 pitches, 38 for strikes.

I was scolded by a fan on Twitter for jinxing Chen by revealing the left-hander’s line after the fourth inning. Yes, I have the power to jinx. I also can control the weather, predict the lottery numbers and cure the common cold. On a really good day, I can influence the tides. And not the ones in Norfolk.

I simply choose to blog instead.

Such a waste.

Chen allowed four runs in the fourth inning before tonight. He cleared that hurdle and continued to lead 6-0.

Now, he’s up 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth after Ryan Flaherty’s second RBI single of the night. It came after Rays manager Joe Maddon challenged a safe call at first base and lost, the delay lasting 2 minutes, 47 seconds.

The Orioles are outhitting the Rays 12-2. The last three hitters in the order are a combined 6-for-9 with four RBIs.

The Orioles had five doubles off Chris Archer in three innings. They scored five runs in three games against the Blue Jays, and exceeded that total tonight by the third.

J.J. Hardy has a pair of RBI doubles and a single. Matt Wieters is 3-for-3, raising his career average against the Rays to .341.

Update: Chen lost his shutout in the sixth on Evan Longoria’s RBI single that reduced the Orioles’ lead to 7-1.

Evan Meek is warming in the bullpen as we start the seventh.

I wrote earlier today that Triple-A Norfolk’s Alexi Casilla hadn’t committed an error at shortstop this season, and he’s got two tonight. I AM a jinx!

Update II: Chen allowed one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, with two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 99 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Evan Meek stranded an inherited runner.

Tonight’s attendance: 15,799.

Update III: Game over. Orioles win 7-1.

Meek tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings, raising his season total to seven. Darren O’Day tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Orioles improve to 6-7.

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