Chen leaves game with oblique strain (O’s win 6-0)

MINNEAPOLIS - The Orioles’ rotation is dealing with another injury.

Wei-Yin Chen left today’s start after five innings with a strained right oblique. Tommy Hunter has replaced him.

Chen appeared to be reaching for his right side as he walked to the dugout after retiring Eduardo Escobar to end the bottom of the fifth. He allowed five hits over five scoreless innings, with no walks, three strikeouts and a wild pitch.

Chen threw 73 pitches, 50 for strikes, in his second-shortest outing of the season.

Miguel Gonzalez is on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his right thumb. The Orioles now will find out whether Chen needs to join him.

Chen has posted a 3.04 ERA in eight starts. He led the club with 32 starts last season.

The Orioles have used nine starting pitchers this season. Their starters have gone four, four and five innings in this series.

Steve Pearce homered leading off the top of the sixth to increase the Orioles’ lead to 6-0.

Per @ESPNStatsInfo: Adam Jones’ third-inning home run had a flight time of 3.09 seconds, the quickest of any home run this season.

Update: Manny Machado is 3-for-4 today, his third three-hit game of the series.

Machado is batting .410 in his last 19 games. His season average is up to .333.

Update II: Darren O’Day tossed a scoreless seventh inning, but he left in the eighth with two runners on base and one out. Brian Matusz replaced O’Day and ended the rally by striking out Justin Morneau and inducing a ground ball from Ryan Doumit.

Matusz has stranded 30 of 31 inherited runners since moving to the bullpen last summer.

Another note on Machado: On Tuesday, he will attempt to become only the fourth Oriole to string together four straight three-hits games, joining Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray and Don Buford.

Update III: Pedro Strop retired the side in order in the ninth, striking out two, and the Orioles defeated the Twins 6-0 to take the series.

The Orioles posted their second shutout of the season. They’ve won 109 consecutive regular-season games when leading after the seventh.

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