BOSTON - Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen didn't make it past the fifth inning today. However, he stands to get the win if the bullpen can cover the rest of the game.
A three-run lead at Fenway Park? What could go wrong?
Chen allowed three runs and four hits in five innings, with three walks and five strikeouts. He threw 93 pitches, 57 for strikes.
In his last start, Chen retired 12 of the first 13 Rays batters and left after 6 1/3 innings with the Orioles leading 7-1. Today, he took a one-hit shutout into the fifth and gave up three runs.
Manager Buck Showalter saw enough and called upon Ryan Webb, who struck out the side in the sixth. Before today, Webb had permitted four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Zach Britton will work the seventh after facing seven batters last night.
Earlier today, I provided an update on J.J. Hardy's strained left hamstring. He's feeling better despite being held out of the lineup.
Asked about the severity of the injury, Showalter replied, "It's way too early to tell."
"Day to day," he added. "About what you'd expect. Everybody's sore. We'll see. Just talked to Richie (Bancells) about it before you came in.
"I'm not going to broadcast whether he's available or not today. Hopefully, we got it before it turned into something that would be a problem. We'll see."
The Orioles haven't scheduled X-rays or an MRI.
"I was considering not playing him today," Showalter said. "I can't be totally honest and commit that I totally would have done that."
Can't get enough of all the talk about instant replay and how the umpires seem challenged by it? Here you go.
"When you're looking at them, talking to you, you understand there's not a lot of conviction, and rightfully so. You can tell this is putting them on their heels a little bit," Showalter said.
"The game's been around since long before any of us were born, so this is something that's different in the game for the first time in... So, there's some unknown. It's like in some sport we all grew up playing, and all of a sudden you don't have ghost runners and the ball off the tree is an out."
Down on the farm, Double-A Bowie first baseman Christian Walker has been named Eastern League Player of the Week after batting .421 (8-for-19) with a triple, two home runs, six RBIs and five runs scored.
Update: David Ross homered off Britton in the seventh, but Ryan Flaherty singled with two outs in the eighth to score Steve Clevenger and increase the Orioles' lead to 7-4.
Britton hadn't allowed an earned run in 12 1/3 innings.
Clevenger beat out a potential double play ball, took second on Jonathan Schoop's long fly ball to center and scored on Flaherty's single. Nice hustle from the Pride of Pigtown.
Darren O'Day entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and served up a leadoff home run to Mike Napoli. The Orioles are clinging to a 7-5 lead.
O'Day hadn't allowed an earned run in 6 2/3 innings. Meek is the only reliever who hasn't surrendered an earned run this season.
Update II: The Orioles gained a split of the four-game series with a 7-6 victory over the Red Sox before a sellout crowd of 37,513 at Fenway Park.
Tommy Hunter gave up an infield hit to Brock Holt and a double by Dustin Pedroia high off the Green Monster put runners on second and third with one out. Hunter walked David Ortiz intentionally to load the bases, and Mike Napoli grounded out on a 3-1 pitch to bring home Holt.
Mike Carp bounced to first and the Orioles held on for the win. Hunter has five saves in six chances.
Brian Matusz escaped a jam in the eighth by striking out Jonathan Herrera and watching as Xander Bogaerts got caught in a rundown between second and third. Daniel Nava stood on second base.
A missed sign?
The Orioles improve to 9-9 and are heading to Toronto for a three-game series that begins Tuesday night. Naps for everyone.