Thursday, June 12, 2014
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Chen, Orioles shut out Red Sox, win series

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[June 12, 2014]  BALTIMORE -- Wei-Yin Chen pitched very well at times this season, but he put it all together Wednesday night.

The Orioles left-hander scattered four hits over seven shutout innings, and first baseman Chris Davis hit a two-run homer in the first inning as Baltimore defeated the Boston Red Sox 6-0.

Chen (7-2) won his fourth consecutive decision with his best performance this season. He retired the first 11 Boston batters, struck out seven without a walk and allowed just four singles before leaving the game after a one-hour, 38-minute rain delay midway through the seventh inning.

"Wei-Yin was really good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "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."

High pitch counts caused Chen problems at times this season, especially early in games, but he had little trouble in that regard Wednesday. He needed just 87 pitches to get through seven innings.

Showalter said that, if not for rain delay, Chen would have come out for the eighth inning. Instead, Darren O'Day (eighth) and Zach Britton (ninth) closed out the win.

Chen also got some timely help from his defense. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop, shortstop J.J. Hardy and Davis turned 4-6-3 double plays to finish the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

"We are lucky to have J.J. and Schoop playing the middle infield there for us," Chen said through an interpreter after the game. "And I was able to get ground balls when I needed, so I'm very happy about the results."

The Orioles (33-31) got outstanding pitching in the series, holding Boston (29-36) to just one run while winning two of three. Right-handers Bud Norris and Tommy Hunter combined on a shutout Monday night.

The Red Sox edged Baltimore 1-0 Tuesday thanks to the only run they scored in this series. Boston manager John Farrell said his offense simply needs to improve.

"One run in 27 innings is extremely difficult," Farrell said. "You credit their pitching, you credit inning-ending double plays three different times tonight. We had big opportunities yesterday that we left a number of men on base, particularly in the early innings. We've got to do a better job offensively all the way around."

After managing just two hits Tuesday, the Orioles started quickly Wednesday. Left fielder Steve Pearce drew a one-out walk off Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa (1-2) in the first inning and scored when Jones doubled to left.

Davis then lined a two-run homer to right, giving the Orioles an early 3-0 lead.

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"I feel like I've been seeing the ball well, with the exception of last night, for a while," Davis said. "I haven't been able to put everything together; my swing just hasn't felt right. Came out here early today and worked on a few things that had really been helpful for me in the past and was able to swing the bat the way I wanted to tonight,"

Chen retired the first 11 Boston batters before second baseman Dustin Pedroia singled to right with two outs in the fourth. Pedroia tried to stretch it into a double, but right fielder Nick Markakis gunned him down.

The Orioles then made it 4-0 on catcher Nick Hundley's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.

Baltimore almost added another run when Hundley was ruled safe at second on a force play where Boston third baseman Xander Bogaerts flipped the ball to Pedroia. However, the Red Sox challenged the play and the ruling was overturned. If Hundley had been called safe, shortstop J.J. Hardy would have scored from third. Instead, the force play ended the inning.

Schoop and Markakis drew bases-loaded walks in the eighth off Chris Capuano to give the Orioles a 6-0 lead after the game restarted.

NOTES: Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez (oblique strain) pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday in his first rehab appearance for Double-A Bowie. He allowed four hits and a walk, and he struck out five. ... Baltimore manager Buck Showalter again dropped 3B Manny Machado from second to seventh in the batting order, something the skipper has done a few times. LF Steve Pearce batted second. "He's swinging the bat well. It's pretty simple," Showalter said of Pearce. ...The Red Sox signed 36-year-old OF Andres Torres to a minor league deal. Manager John Ferrell said Torres, who hasn't played in 2014, will begin with Class A Lowell (short season) and work his way up. There is no official timeline on when Torres would join Boston. ... Red Sox SS Stephen Drew (oblique strain) was out of the lineup for a third consecutive day.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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