Chen leaves with lead after 2 1/3 innings (O’s win 6-3)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen was charged with his first earned run this spring while he sat on the bench.

Tommy Hunter let an inherited runner score on Pedro Alvarez’s single with two outs in the third, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 4-2.

Chen also permitted an unearned run in his 2 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck out four.

Chen appeared to be done after the second, but he faced two batters in the third, issuing a walk and getting a pop-up with the count full. He threw 54 pitches tonight, 33 for strikes, before Hunter replaced him.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Pirates starter Kyle McPherson. Alexi Casilla singled on the first pitch thrown to him and raced to third base on Ryan Flaherty’s double to right. Wilson Betemit followed with a sacrifice fly.

Flaherty had a walk-off home run and double in his last two at-bats. He walked in the third inning, which is sort of like staying hot.

Betemit is 1-for-13 this spring, but he picked up his second RBI.

The lead didn’t last long. Starling Marte singled with the count full, stole second, took third on catcher Jose Gil’s throwing error and scored on Jose Tabata’s sacrifice fly.

Chen struck out the last two batters in the inning. He threw 19 pitches, 13 for strikes.

In the second, Chen issued a leadoff walk to Gaby Sanchez, and Brandon Inge followed with a hard smash to Betemit at third. Should have been a double play, but Betemit threw wide of second base for an error. Chen responded with back-to-back strikeouts and a fly ball.

Chen threw 22 pitches in the inning, 14 for strikes. His last seven pitches were strikes.

In his first spring start against Tampa Bay, Chen allowed two hits in two scoreless innings in Port Charlotte.

Jason Pridie’s single in the third scored Casilla and gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Casilla was hit by a pitch and stole second base.

Pridie has six RBIs in nine games.

Travis Ishikawa followed with a double for his first RBI of the spring. He’s 3-for-15. Keep in mind, the stats in the Team Spain game don’t count.

Trayvon Robinson singled to score Pridie and increase the lead to 4-1.

Ishikawa got caught in a rundown on Chris Dickerson’s grounder to third and was tagged out at the plate.

Update: Chen thought he threw the ball better tonight than during his first start.

“I feel my delivery is much better than my last outing. I feel my fastball got life,” he said through his interpreter, Tim Lin.

“I felt good on my four-seamer and two-seamer today and it’s OK on my changeup. I’m still working on my slder because it’s not there yet. My slider was off today. It’s always high. It makes me behind the count all the time, so I should work on that.”

Chen still believes he’s right on schedule.

“Spring training is just about adjustments, so I’m still working on that,” he said. “There are a lot of things I need to adjust, so I’m working on that.

“I feel it’s going to be a good year for me.”

Update II: Brian Matusz tossed two scoreless innings after replacing Hunter, allowing two hits and striking out two. He threw 33 pitches, 21 for strikes, and his velocity looked good.

Hunter allowed one hit and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings.

Troy Patton is warming in the bullpen.

The Orioles continue to lead the Pirates 4-2 in the seventh inning and manager Buck Showalter has taken out most of his starters.

Update III: Lew Ford just hit an opposite-field homer in the seventh in his first at-bat of the night. Orioles 5, Pirates 2.

Update IV: The Pirates scored a run off Daniel Schlereth in the seventh on a Danny Valencia error, an infield hit and a passed ball by catcher Caleb Joseph. Valencia did make a sensational diving, back-handed stop and throw to record an out after his error. Props for that play.

Former Oriole Felix Pie batted with two outs and a runner on second, and he popped up to Schlereth.

Troy Patton worked the eighth, allowing an infield hit and getting a 3-6-3 double play that Steve Pearce started and finished.

Pearce reached on an infield hit in his only at-bat, making him 8-for-15 with three homers and 10 RBIs.

Update V: The Orioles scored another run in the ninth when Lew Ford walked, took second on an errant pickoff throw from reliever Erik Cordier, moved to third on a wild pitch and raced home on another wild pitch.

That pretty much sums up the night, which will conclude with a fireworks show as the media tries to interview Showalter on the field.

Orioles 6, Pirates 3.

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