Taiwanese reliever Lo Chia-jen logged one scoreless inning in his major league debut on Wednesday, helping his team, the Houston Astros, defeat the Baltimore Orioles 11-0 at Baltimore, Maryland’s Camden Yards.
The 27-year-old right-hander known for his fastball was called up by the Astros after playing in the minor league for five years. Lo entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, when the Astros held an 11-0 lead. He threw 18 pitches and recorded a top speed of 154kph. The middle relief pitcher retired batters Alexi Casilla and Brian Roberts with six pitches. After allowing two hits that helped Baltimore Orioles’ Steve Pearce and Nate McLouth land on first and second base, Lo managed to seal the scoreless inning by striking out Ryan Flaherty.
The three-game series allowed Lo to meet Chen Wei-yin, a fellow Taiwanese pitcher who led Orioles in a 4-3 win over the Astros a day earlier.
Lo, who was part of Taiwan’s national team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Classic (WBC), signed with the Astros in 2009, but his progress has been impeded by injury and he underwent ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery in 2011.
This season, he nearly made it to the team after an impressive performance during spring training, where he recorded a 2.08 ERA during nine appearances for the Astros. The Astros called up Lo and another reliever, Josh Zeid, in the wake of a deal that saw its closer, Jose Veras, go to the Detroit Tigers to strengthen the team’s thin bullpen. The Taiwanese reliever worked 7-2/3 scoreless innings over his past seven appearances, leading to his debut.