Taiwanese MLB lefty Chen falters in season’s 1st start



BALTIMORE — Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (陳偉殷) lost his first start of the season for the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, giving up four runs and career-high 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings in his team’s 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Chen, who was 7-7 with a 4.07 ERA for the Orioles in 2013, kept the Red Sox out of big innings by getting double plays with runners in scoring position in the first and second innings and limiting them to only one extra base hit during his outing.

But after yielding runs in the second, third and fourth innings, Chen was removed in the sixth inning following a Will Middlebrooks double to left and a two out RBI single by Jackie Bradley Jr., which put Boston ahead 4 2.

The 28-year-old Kaohsiung native threw 98 pitches, 66 for strikes, did not walk anybody and struck out five. Many of the hits he gave up were weak flares or ground balls that trickled through the infield.

The Orioles pulled within a run in the bottom of the sixth when Chris Davis scored on a wild pitch by Boston reliever Brandon Workman, but they were unable to do any further damage against last year’s World Series champions.

The left-hander has struggled against the Red Sox during his career, going 2-3 with a 5.24 ERA in eight career starts against Boston, but Chen was not dissatisfied with his first outing of the year.

“Even though I gave up a lot of hits, many of them were perfectly placed and found holes through the infield,” Chen told reporters.

“Overall, I’m not worried about my control or that I’m not in good shape. If I wasn’t where I should be, I would have given up a lot more runs considering the number of hits.

“I didn’t allow a big inning; that’s what I’m happy about,” he said.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter commended Chen’s outing while attributing the number of hits partly to bad luck.

“He gave us a good chance to win,” Showalter said. “He threw the ball pretty well, all things considered. Scattered some hits. Three or four of them (were of) the cheap variety.”

“I was proud of him,” the manager added. “He did a nice job staying engaged in the game. No problem with his outing.”