Chen Wei-yin’s outing on Saturday for the Baltimore Orioles was “pretty good,” as his manager put it, but an error and a lack of run support left him with his third loss of the season and his second to the Washington Nationals.
The Taiwanese 26-year-old gave up three runs on six hits and struck out four over five innings in the Orioles’ 3-1 loss.
His ERA rose slightly to 3.38.
After retiring the Nationals in order in the first inning, Chen faced a jam an inning later, giving up singles to Washington’s first two batters in the inning. Two outs later, with Nationals runners on second and third, Chen got Xavier Nady to hit a grounder that third baseman Wilson Betemit ranged to his left to field, but Betemit’s throw bounced past the first baseman, allowing both runners to score.
Adam LaRoche extended Washington’s lead in the fourth with a solo home run off the Oriole lefty.
Chen cracked his nail on the left index finger on a comebacker in the fourth, leading manager Buck Showalter to shut him down after reaching 90 pitches by the end of the fifth.
“He pitched pretty good,” Showalter said of Chen’s performance. “He pitched well enough to win.”
However, Edwin Jackson dominated the night for the Nationals, limiting the home club to just one run on five hits — a solo home run by Adam Jones in the seventh.
Chen’s record fell to 7-3 on the season, his first in the major leagues after four stand-out seasons in Japan.
“It’s not a big deal and the season is still long,” Chen said. “They [the Nationals] have a very good lineup and a really good pitching staff. Today, I didn’t pitch good, and I didn’t have good control and good command, and they found out about it right away,” he was quoted as saying through an interpreter on the Orioles’ Web site.
Before Saturday’s game, Taiwan’s Representative to the US Jason Yuan threw out the ceremonial first pitch in front of a sellout crowd of more than 46,000 at Camden Yards.
Among the spectators were more than 300 Taiwanese fans and Christopher Marut, incoming director of the American Institute in Taiwan.
Yuan also prepared some zongzi — glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves — for the two teams, as well as Chen and Wang Chien-ming, the Nationals’ pitcher.