Baltimore pitcher Wei-Yin Chen handed long-awaited eighth win
By Joseph Yeh, The China Post
July 21, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
After more than a month of waiting, the Baltimore Orioles' Taiwanese pitcher Wei-Yin Chen finally bagged his eighth win in his rookie major league season Thursday with a much-needed victory over the Minnesota Twins.
The left-handed Taiwan native gave up three runs and six hits with five strikeouts in a seven-inning-outing.
He exited the game while the team was trailing behind. But a late rally of the Orioles lineup in the eighth inning, including Mark Reynolds' two-run single, gave Chen his first win since June 17.
The much-delayed triumph marks a perfect birthday present to the Kaohsiung-native who will be celebrating his 27th birthday on July 21.
The southpaw was a little shaky in his first inning, giving up an RBI single to Josh Willingham and a double to Trevor Plouffe that gave Twins an early 2-0 lead.
But he managed to settle down afterward, regaining his usual steady performance which he has been delivering to Baltimore throughout the season.
He gave up a sacrifice fly to Alexi Casilla in the fourth inning to fall behind 3-1, but otherwise kept the Twins off balance with an array of breaking balls and off-speed pitches.
Chen stranded six runners on base and kept the ball in the yard after giving up seven homers in his previous five starts.
"The first inning I tried to pitch too cautiously and that's why I struggled a little bit," Chen said after the game.
"But after the first inning, I just changed my eye level on them, and everything turned out fine. I just kept pitching and throwing hard."
After pitching for seven innings, the Taiwanese hurler was pulled off the mound following a season-high 108-pitch-game when the team was behind 3-2.
But Reynolds saved the day for the O's and Chen with a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth.
The bullpen managed to hold onto the one-run lead and Jim Johnson picked up his 28th save in 30 chances for the Orioles.
The win snapped a losing streak for Chen, giving him his first win since June 17 at Atlanta. Baltimore has given Chen just 30 runs of support over his last 12 starts.
Chen is now 8-5 with an ERA 3.80. He now moved into a tie with Jason Hammel for the team's win leader.