Chen exactly what the doctor ordered (O’s win 6-5)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter needed Wei-Yin Chen to pitch deep into Game 1 of today’s doubleheader.

Chen didn’t need to be told twice.

We’re in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Chen has held the potent Rangers’ lineup to one run and four hits, with one walk and five strikeouts. His pitch count stood at 72 through the fourth, but he’s at 98 after the seventh.

Luis Ayala was warming in the seventh, but he stopped after Chen retired the side in order.

The Rangers scored 70 runs while beating the Orioles in seven consecutive games. They tallied 24 runs in the first two games of this series.

They loaded the bases with one out in the third inning, but Chen retired Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton. They got a run in the fourth on Yorvit Torrealba’s two-out single that scored Michael Young. And that’s been it.

Chen has retired 10 in a row, and he’s got a 6-1 lead.

The Orioles have hit five home runs off Rangers starter Colby Lewis, the most of his career. He retired 18 in a row after Markakis’ homer in the first, including 11 strikeouts, but Adam Jones went deep to lead off the seventh, Matt Wieters walked and Wilson Betemit launched a two-run shot.

This is the Orioles’ first five-homer game since June 30, 2010 vs. Oakland.

Instant update: Ayala and Troy Patton are warming, so Chen is done. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his six starts. He hasn’t allowed more than two in five of them. His ERA is down to 2.48.

Update II: Upon further review, Chen has returned for the eighth. Let’s see how many batters he faces.

Update III: Chen is charged with two runs, the second one scoring on Adrian Beltre’s infield hit off Ayala. The ball ate up Betemit at third base.

The 7 2/3 innings are a career high for Chen, who has turned in three quality starts in his last four outings.

Chen retired the first two batters of the eighth inning on only three pitches, but Andrus and Hamilton followed with back-to-back singles on two pitches, raising Chen’s total to 103.

The Orioles have five hits, all home runs. They’re checking to find out if they’ve ever played a game where every hit came on the long ball.

Elias is going to stop taking their calls today.

Lewis is only the second pitcher since 1918 to have every hit off him be a HR (minimum of five) over seven innings or more. Charlie Hough did it on June 24, 1989.

Update IV: Ayala put two runners on base in the ninth inning and Jim Johnson served up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter David Murphy with one out. He retired the next two batters for his ninth save.

Orioles 6, Rangers 5.

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