Taiwanese left-handed starter Chen Wei-yin (陳偉殷) of the Baltimore Orioles allowed one run on six hits, striking out four and walking two in seven strong innings in Saturday’s 10-1 win against the Oakland Athletics in Baltimore.
Chen had a rocky start in the first inning, walking two and allowing one hit, but had little trouble after that. He blanked the Atlantics until Jonny Gomes hit a solo homer in the sixth.
The 26-year-old relied on a combination of changeup, and two and four-seam fastballs, with four-seams accounting for 38 percent of his throws on Saturday. He threw 107 pitches, 66 for strikes, with an ERA down to 2.22.
Prior to the game, analysts said Chen should watch out for the Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes of the Atlantics, saying that Cespedes had a batting average of 37.5 percent against the left-handed pitcher.
However, Chen proved his strength when he struck out Cespedes at the top of the first inning with a combination of changeup, slider and two-seam fastball.
Orioles Manager Buck Showalter told reporters after the game that he had full confidence in Chen. Showalter said he was not worried about Chen’s performance in the first innings and that he was very proud of the pitcher.
Fans’ respect for Chen soared when he took a shot below the belt in the fourth inning, but still managed to throw out the runner at first base.
Many fans turned out to cheer for Chen despite the cold and rainy weather, some even bringing blankets with them. A Taiwanese couple drove three hours from New York to attend the game. They said they supported both Wang Chien-ming (王建民) and Chen, and that the recent disclosure of Wang having been in an extramarital affair had not affected their support for him.
Meanwhile, Wang threw four strong innings in his first rehabilitation start this year with the minor league Potomac Nationals and ended the game with a 4-3 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
His fastball reached 148kph and he threw a total of 49 pitches in the game and 10 in the bullpen.
Wang said after the game that he felt good about his condition and would gradually throw more pitches. He has not yet scheduled another rehab game.