Thu, Jul 05, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Bullpen nearly blows Chen outing

Staff writer, with CNA

The Baltimore Orioles’ Chen Wei-yin of Taiwan pitches against the Seattle Mariners in their American League game in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP


Baltimore Orioles left-hander Chen Wei-yin pitched brilliantly against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, but ended up with a no-decision in his club’s 5-4 victory after the bullpen failed to hold a late lead.

The Kaohsiung native retired the first 19 Mariners he faced, striking out nine, but his hopes for a perfect game ended when Casper Wells hit a solo home run to left field on a full count with one out in the seventh.

Still, the Orioles had a 4-1 lead, and when Chen was pulled after yielding a one-out double in the eighth, he appeared on his way to his eighth victory of the season.

“This was probably the first time since I came to the States that I really felt good about my slider,” Chen said through an interpreter.

“Once I established my first-pitch strike, I could easily execute my off-speed pitches,” he was quoted as saying on the Orioles’ Web site.

“He surprised me,” Mariners starter Felix Hernandez said of his first encounter with Chen. “He was in command the whole game. He was sneaky a little bit with his fastball and mixed in his breaking ball. He was unbelievable.”

Chen’s hopes for the win were undone by an ineffective Pedro Strop, who quickly surrendered a wild pitch and three straight hits that put the Mariners within a run.

After the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki grounded out, Strop hit Wells and then walked Kyle Seager to force in the tying run. He was relieved by Darren O’Day, who retired Jesus Montero to snuff out the rally.

A tie would have meant that Chen would get a no-decision and remain 7-4, but the Orioles rebounded in the ninth, taking a one-run lead on Robert Andino’s two-out solo home run. Jim Johnson then pitched a perfect ninth for his team, who had lost six of seven.

Chen threw 97 pitches, 73 for strikes in 7-1/3 innings and his ERA improved to 3.64.



The Washington Nationals announced on Tuesday that Wang Chien-ming has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a right hip strain, retroactive to Sunday, as rumors arose that he may be on the trading block.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Wang’s trainer thought there was something wrong with Wang’s body “because he’s not able to get into the position where he needs to be, to where he’s on top [of the ball].”

“She’s not a doctor, but she thinks there’s something in his hip that’s not enabling him to get into position,” Johnson was quoted as saying on the team’s Web site before Tuesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.

The 32-year-old Taiwanese right-hander has struggled since returning to the majors in late May after recovering from a hamstring injury suffered during spring training.

Wang lost three of his four starts after being inserted into the starting rotation on May 30 and he was moved back to the bullpen on June 20.

He has given up six earned runs and eight hits over three innings in two relief appearances since.

Wang’s struggles have led to rumors that he would be on the trading block ahead of the July 31 deadline and that he could be released before the end of the season.

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