O’s game blog: Chen has 1.45 ERA over his last three starts

The Orioles are beginning a six-game road trip and maybe that is good news. The club has won more and scored more runs this year away from Camden Yards.

The Orioles are 16-17 at home, averaging 3.18 runs per game. They are 19-16 on the road, scoring 5.09 runs per game.

The Orioles send Wei-Yin Chen (7-2, 3.76 ERA) to the mound tonight in St. Petersburg against right-hander Jake Odorizzi (2-7, 4.85 ERA).

Chen is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA and .203 average against over his last three starts with just one walk and 17 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings.

Chen is having his best year ever in limiting walks. His average of 1.3 walks per nine innings is a career-best, as is his 5.18 strikeout-to-walks ratio. He is almost as likely to give up a homer as a walk, with nine homers allowed to 11 walks over 76 2/3 innings.

Over the last seven games O’s pitchers have given up just 14 runs with a team ERA of 1.86. The O’s starters have produced seven straight quality starts with an ERA of 1.54.

After losing 11 of their final 13 games against Tampa Bay in 2013, the Orioles are 5-0 versus the Rays this year and have outscored them 22-8. The O’s team ERA is 1.60 in the season series.

Finally, I join the baseball world today in mourning the passing of Tony Gwynn. I was there among 82,000 in 2007 when Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Gwynn and Ripken - what a pair. Two Hall of Famer players and people. RIP Tony.

Take on Wieters: Well the Orioles got a final resolution on Matt Wieters with today’s news that he’ll undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow. Now we’ll see if Wieters can make it back for opening day 2015.

This news provides more questions than answers at the moment. No, we don’t know if the O’s will pursue acquiring another catcher or go with what they have for the rest of this year. No, we don’t know how this will impact Wieters’ future contract talks with the Orioles or his free agency after next season.

We do know that Wieters will now have to prove himself all over again next year. He’ll have to prove he’s healthy, he’ll have to prove his elbow is sound and that he can be the player he was earlier this year. Until he does that, Wieters’ future earnings are a big question mark.

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