O’s game blog: Chen faces Bedard today at Camden Yards

The Orioles and Rays play the third game of their four-game series this afternoon as Wei-Yin Chen (7-2, 3.84 ERA) faces former Oriole Erik Bedard (3-5, 4.25 ERA).

Chen’s last loss came on May 3 against Minnesota. Since then, he is 4-0 over his last nine starts. In five June starts, Chen is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA. Over 31 innings, he has walked just four with 23 strikeouts.

In 89 innings for the season, Chen has given up almost as many homers (12) as he has walks (14).

This season, left-handed batters are hitting .345 against Chen, but right-handed batters are hitting just .259. Tampa Bay has six right-handed batters and one switch-hitter in its lineup today.

Bedard faced the Orioles two starts ago and gave up five runs over four innings. He gave up a grand slam to Chris Davis, who hit it off the left field foul pole. Bedard has five starts this year of four or fewer innings, the most in the majors.

Bedard went 40-34 with an ERA of 3.83 as an Oriole from 2002-07. He finished fifth in the 2007 American League Cy Young Award voting when he went 13-5 with a 3.19 ERA and ranked third in the AL in strikeouts and fourth in ERA. Against the Orioles, Bedard has a career mark of 1-2 and 6.30 ERA in seven starts.

The Orioles lead the majors with 38 homers in June. They have hit two or more homers in 27 games on the year and 20 of those 27 have come in the last 37 games.

The Orioles bullpen has posted an ERA of 0.38 over the last seven games. Over 24 innings, O’s relievers have given up 14 hits and one earned run with four walks and 18 strikeouts.

The Orioles are 8-2 against the Rays and 22-14 against the AL East. That is the best in-division winning percentage in baseball.

.611 - Orioles, 22-14
.600 - Athletics, 21-14
.590 - Dodgers, 23-16
.588 - Reds, 20-14

The Orioles announced right before game time today that Dylan Bundy will make his next start for Single-A Frederick next Thursday against Salem. Over 15 innings in three starts with short-season Single-A Aberdeen, Bundy allowed 10 hits and just one run with three walks and 22 strikeouts. He had a 0.60 ERA.

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