SEATTLE – As the clock struck midnight in Baltimore,
rookie pitcher Wei-Yin Chen flirted with perfection on the West Coast on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old held the
But watching Seattle break up Chen's bid for a perfect game couldn't compare to watching the Orioles bullpen nearly give away the game.
Despite getting their best outing from a starting pitcher in 10 days, the Orioles nearly wasted Chen's best effort of the season.
Andino, who admitted dropping a throw to second on a stolen base attempt in Monday’s game, picked the perfect time to hit his first homer since May 7, taking Seattle reliever
"It was good, I had to make up for yesterday," Andino said. "So, I guess it worked out in my favor."
Before then, Orioles reliever
Chen left the game with a three-run lead after a one-out double by Michael Sanders in the eighth, he left the game to a round of applause from the modest group of Orioles fans behind the visiting dugout.
"I was proud of him, another new venue for him and he hit the challenge real well," Orioles manager
Strop immediately allowed three straight singles. The first one- -
The Orioles couldn’t turn a double play on
Chen threw 7 1/3 innings of two-hit ball. It was the longest outing by an Orioles starting pitcher in 10 games, when
Chen struck out a new career-high nine batters and walked none – and was one out short of tying his career-long outing. Before Wells' homer, Chen allowed just three balls out of the infield.
"This was probably the first time since I came to the states that I really felt good about my slider," Chen said. "And once I established my first pitch strike, I could easily execute my off-speed pitches."
Earlier this season, Chen watched Hammel take a no-hitter into the eighth and another into the seventh, but on Tuesday night, the spotlight was on him.
As Chen took the mound in the seventh inning,
Chen was coming off one of his worse outings of the season, when he allowed six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings in a 4-2 loss to Cleveland.
"That's not a big deal," said Chen of the bullpen losing the lead against Seattle. "It's a part of the game. We got the win today. The most important thing was that I helped the team get a W."
Against the Mariners, the Orioles pieced together five singles to score four runs in the sixth inning off Mariners starter
Hernandez dominated the Orioles early, striking out seven of the first nine he faced. But he ran into trouble in the sixth. The Orioles led off the inning with four straight singles – with
Two batters later, the Orioles went up 4-0 on
Orioles left fielder