My apologies if you've been sitting home on this Saturday night eagerly awaiting the recap of this exciting game between the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics. It's going up a little bit later than usual because I had the privilege of attending tonight's game with several of the Camden Chat front-page writing staff. It was a fun game with good friends and a just little rain.
I was excited to see Wei-Yin Chen pitch in person tonight, but he didn't get off to a great start. He walked the first batter he faced, Jemile Weeks, and loaded the bases thanks to a single and another walk. He worked out of it without allowing a run, but he threw twenty-seven pitches and it felt like it might be the beginning of rough night for Chen. We were wondering in the stands who the long man might be since Troy Patton pitched multiple innings last night.
Turns out we didn't need to worry about that.
Just as has happened to Chen in some of his other starts, he got his act together. He pitched through the fifth inning without trouble, and then in the sixth inning gave up his only run on the night, a homer to Johnny Gomes. And he didn't tire early tonight, pitching seven total innings of one-run baseball. Great night for Chen! He ended with the final line of 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
There aren't many nights that the offense is going out outshine a game in which the starter pitches seven good innings, but tonight might be one of them. After going down 1-2-3 on just eight pitches in the first inning, the Orioles jumped all over A's starter Tyson Ross in the second. They sent nine batters to the plate in the inning, and six of the first seven batters singled, leading to four runs. The fifth scored when J.J. Hardy hit a sacrifice fly for the second out of the inning. It gave a pretty good cushion to Chen, though he really didn't need all of those runs.
The Orioles added another run in the second inning when Wilson Betemit doubled in Adam Jones, and three more in the fifth inning courtesy of RBI singles from Jones and Chris Davis. Their final run of the game was on a home run by Chris Davis, a no-doubt bomb (as long as it stayed fair) that landed on Eutaw Street in the seventh inning. By that time it seemed like the O's were just piling on, because no one believed that the A's were capable of scoring enough runs to even make it a respectable game.
Luis Ayala relieved Chen in the eighth inning and finished the game, allowing just one hit. So in a game that looked like the starter might not have it, they ended up only needing one relief pitcher. Not bad at all.
Tomorrow the Orioles will try to win the series as they send Tommy Hunter out to face Bartolo Colon.