Bullpen could be busy again (O’Day enters in fifth)

WASHINGTON - Wei-Yin Chen hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his first seven major league starts.

Chen gave up three earned runs in the third inning today at Nationals Park.

The Nats almost hit for the cycle against Chen, getting a leadoff single by pitcher Stephen Strasburg, a double by slumping Danny Espinosa and a two-run triple by Bryce Harper on a ball that popped out of Nick Markakis’ glove as he hit the ground on a diving attempt.

Ian Desmond beat out a potential double play ball as the tying run scored.

Orioles 3, Nationals 3.

Chen has thrown 62 pitches in three innings, 36 for strikes.

Dana Eveland and Darren O’Day are available today after manager Buck Showalter avoided using them last night. Jim Johnson has pitched in four of the last five games, but he’ll want the ball if there’s a save situation.

Strasburg has retired seven in a row since Xavier Avery’s RBI infield hit. He’s struck out five of those batters.

Down on the farm, Miguel Tejada is 2-for-3 with an RBI in his first game with Triple-A Norfolk.

Update: Chen gave up back-to-back home runs to Jesus Flores and Strasburg in the fourth.

Nationals 5, Orioles 3.

Flores and Strasburg combined for zero home runs before today.

Chen hadn’t allowed more than four runs or three earned runs in any start before today.

Update: Chen lasted only 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing as a major leauger. He left after Desmond’s RBI single gave the Nats a 6-3 lead. Chen allowed a career-high eight hits to go with those career-high six runs, walked three and struck out five. He threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes.

Darren O’Day replaced Chen and stranded two runners.

Strasburg retired 10 in a row with seven strikeouts before Tom Gorzelanny replaced him to start the sixth. He threw 90 pitches, 55 for strikes.

Big break for the Orioles that he’s done for the day.

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