Wei-Yin Chen returned to the Orioles tonight and the club was thrilled to have one its key starters back. The feeling was mutual.
“I missed the Orioles a lot,” Chen said with a smile through interpreter Tim Lin.
Chen went seven innings tonight and gave up just three hits and a run in the Orioles’ 6-1 win over Texas. Chen is 4-3 with an ERA of 2.82 in nine starts and in three starts at Oriole Park, he is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA.
“Winning the game was huge to me. I proved tonight that I am healthy and I’m back. I helped the team to win and everything is for the Orioles,” Chen said.
“The first inning I was really pumped up. It’s been so long. I’m happy today and luckily I proved to myself that I can come back and be healthy.”
When Chen has pitched seven innings or more in his two seasons with the team, the O’s are 11-0.
Chen had made two rehab starts with Double-A Bowie.
“The first rehab game, I had some command issues. After the second rehab game, I felt totally ready to come back,” Chen said. “Today I have to thank (Matt) Wieters behind home plate. He gave me a target and I hit the target. Wieters did a great job today.”
As for Wieters, he felt Chen threw the ball really well, just as he had when he last pitched for the Orioles in May.
“He threw the ball great,” Wieters said. “He was able to mix his pitches to both sides of the plate. I think the big thing for him was he was able to go seven innings in his first time out there in two months. It’s good to get deep in the game and pass the baton to the next starter to do the same thing. He looked ready to go tonight.”
How big was this win for the Orioles?
“Big one. More importantly because that is how you want to play to win a game. You get a couple of big hits and be able to shut down the other team,” Wieters said.
Nolan Reimold hit a three-run homer in the fourth. It was his first homer since May 4 and first since he returned from the disabled list.
“It’s only been four or five games (since I’ve been back), but it’s something to build on, something to hopefully carry into the next day,” he said. “A good night, enjoy it now and get ready for tomorrow. It felt good to come through one time.”
Reimold said he feels healthy now.
“I feel pretty good. I can run and do everything, so I feel like I’m healthy enough to contribute to the team,” he said.