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May 26, 2017

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Chen Wei-yin wins his seventh game with season's best outing

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (陳偉殷) threw seven scoreless innings Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox to win his seventh game of the season 6-0 and help the Baltimore Orioles clinch the three-game series at home.

Chen collected seven strikeouts — a season high — while scattering four hits to improve his record to a team-leading 7-2 over 13 games. He has not lost a game since May 3.

It was the first game this season in which he did not give up any runs. In the process, Chen also managed to induce three inning-ending double plays.

The 28 year-old from the port city of Kaohsiung was in command early on, retiring the first 11 batters he faced before Dustin Pedroia's hit with two outs in the fourth.

Even then, right fielder Nick Markakis was able to grab the shot off the wall before making a perfect throw so that shortstop J.J. Hardy could tag a sliding Pedroia at second.

"I did feel great out there pitching, and I was happy to have the team get a win," Chen said through an interpreter.

"And, also, in the two (past) outings, I couldn't go deep in the games, but today I was able to do that," he said. "So I am happy to have done it — especially since it was against the Red Sox. I gained a little confidence in this outing."

He faced the minimum number of hitters — 15 — over five innings, during which time he did not allow two base runners in any single inning.

In a post-game analysis, the Baltimore Sun praised Chen's "mastery" of all his pitches and precise location of his fastball — which reached 93-94 miles per hour — while getting a lot of movement out of his slider and curveball.

The "rubber match" win Wednesday night tipped the three-game series in the Orioles' favor after a 1-1 split with the struggling World Series Champions.

"I'm impressed with the way our guys pitched the last three days," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I was real pleased and proud of the way our guys pitched. All of them, the bullpen, too."

In the three games against Boston, the Orioles gave up only one run even though that proved enough for the visitors to win the second game 1-0.

Chen threw 56 of his 87 pitches for strikes and tied his season-high for innings with seven and would have pitched the eighth if the game had not been suspended in the middle of the seventh for nearly 100 minutes because of rain. The Orioles were leading 4-0.

The home side then managed to add two more runs in the bottom of the eighth while keeping the Red Sox batters at bay.

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