Neither rain nor lengthy delays could stop the Orioles from taking two of three games from the Red Sox at Camden Yards.
Wei-Yin Chen may be the majors’ most overlooked seven-game winner. He was superb tonight, shutting out the Red Sox on four hits over seven innings in a 6-0 victory. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out a season-high seven.
“Wei-Yin was really good,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I was thinking today, I don’t know whether it was kind of getting on a consistent five-man rotation, but his stuff’s been real crisp.
“He’s always going to carry everything out there, but he had some depth to his breaking ball. It wasn’t that side-to-side one. And I think he got two double plays off the changeup.”
Chen’s velocity is up a few notches.
“I hate talking about it, but I was talking to one of our guys, his last two or three outings he’s hit a couple velocities he hasn’t touched before,” Showalter said. “I asked why and I don’t know if that’s because he’s been out there a little more consistently. Pitchers are such creatures of habit when you can get them on some type of routine. It’s the schedule and the weather and everything’s made it kind of yo-yo around a little bit. And some of the injuries.”
Chen didn’t return after the 1-hour, 38-minute delay, but he wasn’t in line for a complete game, no matter the weather.
“Zach (Britton) was going to pitch tonight regardless of the score of the game, so I’d say no,” Showalter said. “He’d have come out for the eighth.”
The Orioles allowed one run in the three-game series, but didn’t get the sweep.
“I’d be the first to say I think we kind of caught Boston not swinging the bats as well as they’re capable of, but I’m impressed with the way our guys pitched the last three days,” Showalter said. “We’re going to have to do the same thing to compete with Toronto, one of the better hitting teams in baseball.
“I was real pleased and proud of the way our guys pitched the last three days, all of them. The bullpen, too. They came in and did what they’re supposed to do and we didn’t have to get anybody up behind them.”
Darren O’Day lowered his ERA to 0.98 with a scoreless eighth.
“I always like that first out after that rain delay, because there’s such a chance to have that momentum switch after that long delay, but our guys came out ready to go,” Showalter said. “I thought the tack-on runs gave us some room. It tests your concentration and intensity after that type of delay.”
Fans were allowed to move down to the lower seating bowl after the delay, and they took over the seats behind the home dugout and serenaded O’Day in the eighth. They also kept Showalter amused.
“You can hear everything,” Showalter said. “There are certain things that are making you talk louder than you usually do.”
Showalter received a positive report on Miguel Gonzalez, who tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings tonight at Double-A Bowie.
“Miguel did OK tonight,” Showalter said. “Brady said he was sharp, so he’s eligible Sunday.”
In case you missed it in my last entry, the last time that the Orioles allowed one run or fewer in a three-game series at home was Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 1995 against the Tigers.
Orioles starters have allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of the last 13 games.