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September 23, 2017

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Chen helps Orioles win against Braves 2-0

Baltimore Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen threw seven scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves Sunday to help his team claim a 2-0 victory in Atlanta, amounting to another dominant performance delivered by the Taiwan-native lefty that is, as put by his teammate, "Chen-sational."

In what might have been the best game of his career so far, the rookie left-hander allowed six hits over seven innings. Thanks to three double plays, Chen efficiently worked through Sunday's game in 101 pitches. He also struck out two and walked one.

Sunday's game was Chen's first scoreless outing in 13 starts for this team this season.

Chen said that he felt confident after warming up in the bullpen.

"In the bullpen I felt really great," Chen said. "Today I knew I would have a really good performance."

Chen only allowed one Atlanta runner to reach scoring position in a single inning he pitched.

Comparing Chen to the NBA's Taiwanese-American player Jeremy Lin, Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones called Chen's game on Sunday "Chen-sational."

Jones said it was fun to watch his pitchers, including Chen, from his vantage point in center field.

"The important part of it is, they all have started with strike one," Jones said.

New Weapon: Curveball

The Taiwanese lefty kept batters off balance with not only his signature 90 mph fastballs but also with a new weapon he recently acquired; a mid-60s curveball.

"He came over here basically without a changeup and a lot slower at the plate," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

"(Pitching coach Rick Adair has) done a great job getting him some more weapons to defend himself at this level. He's a quick learner. He's grasping very quick," Showalter added.

Aside from his shutout performance on the mound, Chen was also making contributions to his team offensively by moving a runner to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt in the sixth, helping the Orioles to score a run.

"It's something you work on in spring training and it could be a difference-maker in the game, and I think it was today," Showalter said.

Commenting of his sacrifice bunt, Chen said he hates hitting but was happy to get the bunt down. Even if he is unsure how it happened.

"I have no idea how I did that," he said.

Chen is now 7-2 with a 3.36 ERA.

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