Longball leads to short outing for Chen (O’s lose 5-4)

Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen tied his career high today by serving up three home runs to the Tampa Bay Rays.

What made it worse was the damage came in only 3 1/3 innings.

Brad Brach has replaced Chen, who’s charged with five runs and seven hits in a career-low 3 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.

Chen was done after walking Desmond Jennings on his 82nd pitch of the day.

Chen’s previous shortest outing was 3 2/3 innings against the Red Sox on Aug. 27, 2013 at Fenway Park.

Jennings, Logan Forsythe and Kevin Kiermaier homered off Chen, who’s now allowed 12 in his last eight starts. The Rays have hit five against him in two games this month.

Nine of the 15 home runs allowed by Chen this season have been to the leadoff hitter in an inning, including Jennings today in the top of the first.

The ball’s really carrying here today, but former Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard is working on a shutout through four innings. It’s carrying a lot more for the Rays.

Chen hasn’t lost since May 3 in Minnesota. He’s 4-0 with five no-decisions in that span.

Chen allowed nine runs over his last five starts covering 31 innings before today.

The Orioles bullpen surrendered only one run in the last 24 innings heading into today’s game. It’s going to be busy.

Update: Bedard lost his shutout with two outs in the sixth when former teammate Nick Markakis homered to right field to cut the Rays’ lead to 5-1.

Bedard has tied his season-high by completing six innings for the fourth time this season.

Markakis has seven home runs this season, the last before today coming on June 9 against Boston’s Jake Peavy. He needs 106 hits to tie Boog Powell for fifth on the club’s all-time list. Yes, I’m still counting.

Brach retired all five batters he faced and hasn’t allowed a run in his last four appearances over 6 1/3 innings. Tommy Hunter tossed a scoreless sixth inning after replacing Brach.

The Orioles’ bullpen has permitted one run in the last 26 2/3 innings.

Update II: Manny Machado hit a two-run homer off Bedard with no outs in the eighth, the ball slamming off the left field foul pole and reducing the Rays’ lead to 5-3.

Grant Balfour has replaced Bedard, who went a season-high seven innings.

Machado has homered in back-to-back games, giving him six this season. The Orioles lead the majors with 40 this month.

Ryan Webb struck out the side in the seventh and T.J. McFarland stranded two in the eighth. The Orioles bullpen has registered 4 2/3 scoreless innings today and has allowed one run in 28 2/3 innings.

Update III: The Orioles scored three runs in the eighth to trail 5-4.

Adam Jones had a two-out RBI single off left-hander Jake McGee, who replaced Balfour. Delmon Young and Markakis singled off Balfour.

Jones was batting .420 versus left-handers before today. He went 0-for-3 against Bedard.

Update IV: Game over. The Orioles lose to the Rays 5-4 at Camden Yards to drop two of the first three games of the series.

The Orioles are 42-38 overall, 19-20 at home, 13-16 in day games and 14-12 in one-run games. They’re also 11-12 versus left-handed starters and 2-32 when trailing after the eighth inning.

The Orioles bullpen threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings. That’s one run in the last 29 2/3 innings.

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