SARASOTA, Fla. -- Making his first Grapefruit League start in more than two weeks, Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen allowed seven runs – six earned – in 3 1/3 innings in the Orioles’ 13-4 loss to the Phillies Saturday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.
Chen couldn’t escape a five-run fourth inning that included Phillies second baseman Chase Utley’s second homer of the afternoon, a three-run shot to left field that ended up being the final hitter Chen faced. Utley also homered three batters into the game, hitting a two-run shot to left off Chen.
“I felt OK today, but I felt delivery-wise, they got my timing really well and most of my pitches were up in the zone,” Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin.
Chen hadn’t pitched in a Grapefruit League game since March 8, with his past two outings coming in minor league games.
“It is different because once youre in minor league [games], you can work on every pitch you want down there,” Chen said. “But here once you make a mistake you have to pay for it.”
The Phillies combined for five homers on the afternoon -- three of them off Chen – with the wind blowing out at Ed Smith as Ryan Howard followed Utley’s first inning homer with one of hit own and Domonic Brown and Yuniesky Betancourt also homered.
Chen didn’t want to use the wind or not having pitched in a major league game for a long times as excuses.
“If I said yes that would be an excuse,” Chen said. “I wont say anything because I think the most important I can get out of here is to get my timing, got your delivery back. Everything was work. Today I just didn’t get the job done.”
Chen will likely get his next start in a minor league game, likely on Thursday.
Playing down 10-0, J.J. Hardy’s two-run double scored two runs in the fourth, and Ryan Flaherty also plated a run with a double of his own. The Orioles’ only other run came in the sixth, when Brian Roberts scored standing up on a wild pitch by Phillies reliever Phillippe Aumont.