The Baltimore Orioles ended a bleak home stand yesterday by dropping both the finale and series to the Seattle Mariners with a 3-2 defeat Sunday afternoon.
Wei-Yin Chen (6-4) pitched well enough to win yesterday, but the Orioles' offense could not give him any run support. He was pitching almost lights out through six innings as he allowed just one run, one walk and four hits in those innings, and although the O's offense could not cash in on their opportunities, he even had a 2-1 lead entering the seventh.
Everything seemed fine at first as he began the seventh with a strikeout and then immediately wiped out a walk when he picked off Michael Saunders for the second out of the inning. Chen then allowed another walk before hanging an 0-2 pitch to 41-year-old Henry Blanco that Blanco drilled down the left field line for a two run homer and a 3-2 lead.
It was a disappointing end to a good outing for Chen as he tossed seven innings, while allowing three runs on five hits, two walks and he struck out five on 110 pitches, 78 of which were for strikes.
"He pitched outstanding," Manager Buck Showalter said. "Deserved to win. All of us feel like that was an outing worth getting a W, so I'm not going to… We all dwell on that. There were a lot of great things he did to give us a chance, more times than not, to win that game."
Baltimore's offense had an abundance of opportunities in the game yesterday, but could not come up with the big hit. In each of the first five innings the Orioles put at least one runner in scoring position, and in each of the first five innings, the Orioles failed to get a hit with runners in scoring position. Twice, once in the second and once in the third, Baltimore had runners on first and second with no outs and failed to score. All told, once the game was over, the Orioles had gone 0-11 with runners in scoring position.
Danny Valencia gave the Orioles some hope, and their only scoring offense as he belted a two run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning that temporarily gave the O's a 2-1 lead.
Valencia led the way offensively going 2-4 with the homer and two RBI, while Nick Markakis had the other multi hit game going 2-4 with a walk.
It was a forgetful nine game home stand for the Birds as they went 4-5 against the Mariners, Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox. Baltimore will enjoy a day off today before hitting the west coast, and if the Orioles do not have a good road trip, they can turn their attention to the AL Wildcard because the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are playing good baseball and slowly running away with the division.
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