Live blogging again today: Same drill as last night. I'll post notes, stats and commentary here during today's game and invite you to do the same. Keep the comments and questions coming starting now and going for nine innings. Check back often and hit refresh for the latest from me and the readers.
Chen out after seven: Chen is out and Darren O'Day comes in to pitch in the eighth. Chen pitched seven scoreless innings on six hits and 101 pitches to lower his ERA ot 3.36.
Making those hits count: The Orioles had just three hits through the first seven innings today but they made a pair of leadoff doubles count. Adam Jones got one in the second and came home on a pair of fly outs. Steve Pearce had one in the sixth before moving to third on a bunt and home on a balk. The O's scratched out a pair of runs to lead 2-0 as this game heads to the top of the eighth.
Chen through five: It's not a one-hitter, but Chen is having a real nice outing, blanking Atlanta 1-0 through five innings. Chen has allowed four singles and the Orioles have turned three double plays behind him.
Chen so far: 5IP, 4H, 0R, 1BB, 2K.
Chen has thrown 70 pitches, 50 for strikes. Delgado, who has thrown some nasty changeups today, is not walking people like his track record says he should and has one-hit the O's so far, yet is behind 1-0.
Nifty DP: The Orioles have turned three double plays in the first three innings and that last one was well done. Atlanta got back-to-back singles to start the third and then Delgado, the pitcher, bunted back to the mound. Chen fielded and threw to third, where shortstop J.J. Hardy was covering. He then threw to first with Robert Andino on the bag to get two.
Andino then threw to second base where Adam Jones came in from center to sneak behind the runner, but the low throw got away allowing Andrelton Simmons to get to third, where Chen got a third out to strand him. Almost a triple play there. The Orioles lead 1-0 heading to the fourth.
The early lead: The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Adam Jones doubled to right to leadoff, then went to third on a fly out and scored on a Mark Reynolds sac fly. That is 11 RBIs for Reynolds in 18 games since coming off the DL.
The Orioles are 26-12 on the season when they score first.
Today's starting pitchers: Wei-Yin Chen is 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA and today makes his 13th start for the Orioles. Chen pitched to an ERA of 2.45 over his first seven starts, but that mark is 5.52 over his past five starts.
But Chen has won his last two starts against Boston and Pittsburgh, going 2-0 with an ERA of 3.38 in that time.
He has recorded six quality starts and in six road starts, the lefty is 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA.
Atlanta right-hander Randall Delgado faces the O's today. He is 4-6 with a 4.34 ERA over 12 starts with a .239 batting average against. Delgado pitched to a 6.30 ERA in four April starts, but that mark is 3.50 in eight starts since.
He has struggled at times to get deep into games, pitching fewer than six innings in nine starts. He is 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA over six home starts.
Delgado can be wild at times, walking six over five innings in his last start with 36 walks over 66 1/3 innings on the year. He is tied for fourth in the NL for most walks allowed.
The talk-show caller: I was driving back from getting a coffee when I heard a Baltimore talk-show caller ask the host today, "At what point do we give up on Brian Matusz?"
How dare he give up a home run to that shortstop on Friday. I know some fans, and I say some have little patience. But good grief. Yes even me, someone who hosts baseball talk-shows all season, got surprised by that one.
Couple of notes from Norfolk: Several Tides bullpen pitchers are throwing well right now at Triple-A. J.C. Romero has made 12 scoreless appearances while holding IL batters to a .100 average (3-for-30) since joining Norfolk on May 24. Miguel Socolovich has posted a 0.73 ERA (1-ER, 12.1-IP) while striking out 15 and walking one over his last five outings. Over his last five outings, Pat Neshek has allowed two hits and a walk while striking out seven in 5.0 shutout innings. Oscar Villarreal has yet to allow more than one earned run in an appearance this season, posting a 2.18 ERA while holding IL batters to a .193 average.
During the month of June, Jamie Hoffmann has batted .415 (17-for-41) with three home runs and eight RBIs. That .415 average leads all qualifying batters in the IL.
Outfielder Lew Ford has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, batting .419 (13-for-31) with two home runs and eight RBIs over that span. Since joining the Tides on May 18, Ford has hit .392 with five homers, 18 RBI and 12 multi-hit contests.