Based on the way Wei-Yin Chen fared in two outings against the Oakland Athletics during his 2012 rookie season, the Baltimore Orioles would appear to have a good chance to continue their rare winning stretch in the East Bay.
Trying to improve to 3-0 against the struggling A's, Chen looks to help the Orioles to a third consecutive victory at Oakland on Friday night.
Chen (1-2, 3.38 ERA) allowed one earned run, nine hits and struck out 16 in 12 2-3 innings while winning both starts - at home - versus Oakland a year ago. It helped that his teammates scored 16 runs in those contests.
Baltimore (13-9) pounded out a season-high 15 hits and matched its most runs of 2013 in Thursday's 10-2 win over the A's. The Orioles have not won three straight in Oakland since Aug. 15-17, 2005, and prior to snapping a four-game skid there last season, dropped 16 of 18 at the Coliseum.
Chen, however, hopes to pitch better than Saturday when he gave up a run, three hits and overcame four walks in six innings of a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers .
"My stuff was terrible (Saturday), not really good," he told the Orioles' official website. "I was lucky to get a win."
Leadoff hitter Nate McLouth reached base four times and is 8 for 18 (.444) with seven walks in the last six games."I'm swinging at good pitches, that's what I'm most happy about," McLouth said. "I'm working the count and swinging at the pitches I want instead of having to swing at what a pitcher wants."
Jones, who has hit safely in all but two games this season, is batting .359 with 17 RBIs. He's hit .357 in his last seven at Oakland.
Davis is batting .442 (19 for 43) with four homers and 10 RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak against the A's.
Oakland (13-10) swept a three-game home set from Houston April 15-17, then followed with a 1-5 road trip and blew an early 2-0 lead Thursday. Josh Donaldson had a two-run double for the A's, who have scored 30 runs in the last seven games, with 13 coming in their only win Tuesday at Boston.
Center fielder Coco Crisp is 4 for 23 (.174) in six games following a 12-game hitting streak in which he batted .392. He's 2 for 16 in his last four against the Orioles.
Oakland's Tommy Milone (3-1, 4.26) takes the mound looking to bounce back from his first loss of the season. The left-hander allowed six runs - four earned - and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings of an 8-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The A's totaled 28 runs in Milone's first three starts, but managed only three hits in the last one."That's the game. It happens. We're not going to score 10 runs every game, as much as we would like that as pitchers," Milone said. "We've got to do our best to keep the team in the game. That's our job."
He gave up two runs, including a solo homer to Davis, in 6 1-3 innings in his only previous start versus Baltimore, a 3-2 home win Sept. 14.
|April 07, 2013||Nolan Reimold||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring tightness|
|April 05, 2013||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Ruptured tendon, right knee|
|April 04, 2013||Brian Roberts||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring injury|
|March 26, 2013||Wilson Betemit||60-Day DL||Right PCL tear|
|March 23, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|March 22, 2013||Tsuyoshi Wada||60-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|April 19, 2013||Brett Anderson||Day-to-Day||Ankle|
|April 13, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||15-Day DL||Strained muscle, left hand|
|April 12, 2013||Coco Crisp||Day-to-Day||Strained left groin|
|April 10, 2013||Scott Sizemore||60-Day DL||Torn left ACL - out for season|
|April 07, 2013||Josh Reddick||Day-to-Day||Sprained right wrist|
|March 27, 2013||Hiroyuki Nakajima||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Wei-Yin Chen's longest start of his career was his most dominant.
Chen, a Taiwan national, pitched eight stellar innings, giving up only two hits to help the Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0 on Friday night.
"Not physically, but mentally, I think this is probably the best start I have had in the Major Leagues," Chen said through an interpreter. "I had a really good feeling today and I felt strong today."
Jim Johnson completed the three-hitter by getting the final three outs for his ninth save. The Orioles have won seven of their last nine games while the A's have dropped seven of eight.
Chen was brilliant, not allowing a runner to reach third base. He struck out five and walked two. The eight innings pitched eclipsed Chen's previous longest outing of 7 2-3 innings on May 10 against Texas last season.
"He (Chen) had (only) two or three three-ball counts all night. We retired their first batter in all nine innings and that is big," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He (Chen) had good command of his fastball the whole night on both sides of the plate. He was a difference-maker."
The Orioles broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning as J.J. Hardy lead off against Tommy Milone (3-2) with a single that A's right-fielder Josh Reddick bobbled for an error allowing Hardy to go to second. After an out, Steve Pearce drove him in with a sharply hit ball past diving A's shortstop Adam Rosales .
"He (Milone) pitched a really good game.he was changing speeds well and hitting his spots," said Pearce, who went 2-for-3 on the night with a double to go along with his RBI-single. "He just left a couple of pitches up and I was able to get extended and get good wood on it."
Baltimore added two runs in the ninth against Oakland reliever Ryan Cook on an error and sacrifice fly. The A's had a season-high three errors.
"When you are in close games like that - defensive miscues end up really costing you," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's maddening for us."
Milone gave up six hits and struck out five while allowing the unearned run.
The Orioles had chances early but Milone worked out of trouble.
"We always feel good when Tommy takes the mound," Melvin said. "Tonight, when you struggle to get hits and don't score runs - he keeps you in the game."
Chen was hitting his spots with his fastball and his off-speed stuff. He threw 106 pitches in the eight innings, 68 for strikes.
"You could tell he (Chen) had a good feel for the ball tonight," Showalter said. "He had a good rhythm for everything he was doing."
Notes: It was the first three-error game for the A's this season. . Injured Oakland slugger Yoenis Cespedes (hand) went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer and a walk in his second rehab game on Friday night with Triple-A Sacramento. A's manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes was scheduled to play in the field on Friday night, DH on Saturday and, if all goes well, will be activated on Sunday. ... The A's are slated to send A.J. Griffin (2-1, 4.50) to the mound on Saturday to face Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (0-1, 5.23). Griffin has never faced the Orioles. Tillman has one previous career start against the A's (May 27, 2011), allowing one earned run and six hits in 4.1 innings. ... The Orioles have not won a season series against the A's since 1998. ... The A's celebrated the 40th anniversary of the club's 1973 World Series title - the second of three consecutive championships - on Friday before the game with an autograph session for fans. The celebration will continue before Saturday's game with a pre-game on-field reunion honoring the members of the 1973.