Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wei-Yin Chen, 2014 Topps Heritage #86
Chen retired the first 11 batters he faced before Dustin Pedroia laced a hit into the right field corner. But Boston's scrawny second baseman had the nerve to test Nick Markakis' throwing arm and was gunned out at second base to end the fourth inning. In innings five through seven, Chen allowed a single per frame but coaxed three double play grounders to keep the Beantowners from mounting any serious threats. He also struck out a season-high seven Red Sox batters in earning his seventh win, already matching last year's victory total in ten less starts. Meanwhile, the O's offense gave Wei-Yin an early cushion with a three-spot in the first off of young Rubby de la Rosa. A Steve Pearce walk, an Adam Jones RBI double, and a Chris Davis two-run homer did the trick. Nick Hundley chipped in with a two-out single in the fourth to plate Hardy, as the newish Oriole catcher had his first multi-hit game since arriving in a trade with the Padres last month.
After six and a half innings played under threatening skies, a thunderstorm arrived emphatically during the seventh-inning stretch. We waited out half of the ensuing one hour and 40 minute rain delay, enjoying some 1983 World Series highlights (narrated by Mel Allen!) on the center field video board. But with the clock pushing past 10:00 with no announced restart time on a Wednesday night and the Birds comfortably ahead, we decided to head home. I caught the end of the game on TV, including run-scoring walks by Jonathan Schoop and Markakis to push the advantage to 6-0 in the eighth inning. One flawless inning from Britton later, and the Orioles were in the win column, closing to within 4.5 games of first-place Toronto just in time for the Blue Jays to arrive for a four-game weekend series.
All that, and I got this excellent "Oriole Way" promotional giveaway tee!