Baltimore Orioles rookie Chen Wei-yin turned in another strong start on Sunday, holding the Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols in check in the Orioles’ come-from-behind 3-2 win on the road. The Taiwanese left-hander allowed just one run on five hits in 6-1/3 innings, his longest stint in three major league starts, but he ended up with a no-decision.
“Keep in mind that is the first time he’s pitched on four days rest; he’s used to pitching on five and his fastball was crisper,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter was quoted by the Baltimore Sun as saying about Chen.
Showalter thought the outcome could have been even better.
“Quite frankly, he didn’t get the benefit of a lot of borderline calls like [Angels starter Dan] Haren was, but he worked his way through that. He was the difference today,” said Showalter, who was ejected in the sixth inning for challenging ball and strike calls by home-plate umpire Angel Campos.
Chen, 26, who has a 1-0 record in his first three starts, lowered his ERA to 2.60 from 3.27 and struck out five, including Pujols twice, in his best start to date.
“Today I accomplished a small goal I set for myself, but I still feel I could have finished up better,” the Kaohsiung native said through his interpreter about his longest start.
Chen, the first Taiwanese player to sign a multiple-year contract with a major league club, was pulled from the game in the bottom of the seventh with the Orioles trailing 1-0 after giving up one-out walks to Alberto Callaspo and Bobby Wilson. The Orioles pulled ahead 2-1 in the eighth on a Nick Markakis bases-loaded single, ensuring that Chen would not be the pitcher of record.
Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a home run, but Baltimore pulled the game out in extra innings when Markakis drove home Robert Andino with a single, helping the Orioles avert a three-game sweep.
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Rangers 3, Tigers 2
‧ Blue Jays 5, Royals 3
‧ Rays 6, Twins 2
‧ White Sox 7, Mariners 4
‧ Athletics 5, Indians 1
Jordan Schafer hit his first career grand slam with a shot that bounced off the glove of Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, Wandy Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball through seven innings on Sunday and the Houston Astros romped past Los Angeles 12-0.
The Astros avoided a sweep and handed the Dodgers their most-lopsided shutout loss since a 13-0 defeat by the Angels in June 2004.
Rodriguez (1-2) struck out six and walked three to get his first win of the season and lower his ERA to 1.42.
Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer in the first. Schafer’s slam came an inning later and was just the second career grand slam Chad Billingsley (2-1) has allowed in his seven-year career.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, BRAVES 4
In Phoenix, Gerardo Parra hit his first career grand slam to cap a five-run second inning as Arizona beat Atlanta to snap a five-game losing streak. The Braves had won five in a row.
Ian Kennedy (3-0) posted his seventh straight win dating to August last year. J.J. Putz recorded his fifth save, despite allowing a one-out home run to Juan Francisco.
Randall Delgado (2-1) retired the first two Arizona batters in the second. Jason Kubel then singled, Cody Ransom doubled and John McDonald was intentionally walked to load the bases. Delgado walked Kennedy on four pitches before Parra hit a drive into the pool area beyond the right-center field fence for a 5-1 lead.