Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wei-yin (陳偉殷) said on Tuesday he was grateful for his Orioles teammates’ strong support in the field and at the plate that helped him grab his 11th win in his major league rookie season.
“Our great catcher [Matt Wieters] and my teammates’ good defense gave me confidence,” Chen said after leading the Orioles to a 7-1 victory over Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox.
Chen often had to work out of trouble against the Red Sox, but despite giving up nine hits and a walk, he allowed only one run in six-plus innings.
Asked how he was able to work his way out of so many jams, Chen credited his catcher, saying it was a “miracle” that he managed to limit the Red Sox to only one run.
The left-hander, who has emerged as the Orioles’ most consistent starter this season, also struck out four to improve his record to 11-7 and pull the Orioles into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the top spot in the American League wild-card race.
The crowd at Camden Yards, which included many Taiwanese expatriates, gave Chen a standing ovation when he left the game in the seventh inning with a 7-1 lead after giving up a leadoff single to Jacoby Ellsbury.
Chen did not fare well his last time out against the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 9, but he managed to bounce back nicely against a tough Boston lineup.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter praised Chen for having improved over the season.
“He’s really changed and he fared pretty well today,” Showalter said.
Leading 2-1 after five innings in what appeared to be a pitchers’ duel between Chen and Beckett, the Orioles broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The big blow was a three-run blast by Mark Reynolds off Boston pitcher Mark Melancon, who had just entered the game in relief of Beckett.
Darren O’Day came on in the seventh and had to escape his own jam, before retiring the Red Sox without any damage.
Chen threw 98 pitches, 74 for strikes, and improved his ERA to 3.70 in his six-plus-inning stint.
The 26-year-old Kaohsiung native was not seen as a potential ace when he was signed by the Orioles in the off-season after having starred for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan for the past four years, but he is the only pitcher on the Orioles roster with double-digit wins and has been a key cog in the reversal of fortunes of a team that has not finished over .500 since 1997.