By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Baltimore Orioles Taiwan-native starter Wei-Yin Chen’s eight shutout innings lifted his team over the Seattle Mariners Thursday with a 4-0 victory in the opening game of their four-game series. Giving one of his most impressive outings this season, the Taiwanese southpaw delivered a dominant 109-pitch performance in eight innings of work. Seventy-eight of the pitches were strikes. Allowing just six batters to reach the bases — with five singles and one walk — while striking out three, the lefty held Seattle scoreless for eight innings, tying his career-high for longest start. He was so good that after leadoff hitter James Jones was thrown out at home plate in the first inning, Chen didn’t allow a base runner to reach second base for the rest of the night. Chen’s dominance on the mound was supported by his teammates. Designated hitter Delmon Young hit a three-run homer against Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma in the third inning, paving way for the win at Safeco Field. “My slider and curveball worked really well today, and I got good command of my fastball,” Chen said through an interpreter. “That’s why I (pitched) a really good game out there.”
Going Deep with Good Command Commenting on Chen’s superb performance, catcher Caleb Joseph said the outing was the best he had seen for the hurler in a long time. “Really did well with the fastball, mixed in a really good slider, threw the curveball and the changeup, and that’s the type of performance we really need out of him for us to be a playoff-contending team,” Joseph said. “I don’t think he was real happy with the manager after the last outing,” Showalter said, referencing Chen’s five-inning outing in Oakland.
“He takes a lot of pride in getting deep into games. I could tell he had a little extra edge going into tonight. “I was going to let him start the ninth, if he could have got the guy out before Cano. But he just took it as far as he could. That’s about as good as you can pitch,” he added. Aside from his good command, Chen also showcased his impressive defense on Thursday’s game with a first-inning play at the plate that saved him a run. Darren O’Day, who leads the league in relief ERA, pitched a scoreless ninth to lower his mark to 1.02 and run his scoreless-outing streak to 13. Iwakuma took his fifth loss this season. Chen is now 11-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 117 innings. The 11th win improved Chen’s Major League Baseball career victory count to 30.