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Chen stymies Yankees to get 4th win of year

2012/05/16 16:31:49

Baltimore, May 15 (CNA) Taiwanese pitcher Wei-Yin Chen maintained his strong early season form and improved his record to 4-0 in leading the Baltimore Orioles to a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees and the previously undefeated C.C. Sabathia on Tuesday.

In his second encounter against the defending American League East champion, the rookie left-hander kept the Yankees off balance for much of the game with excellent command of his fastball and an effective change-up.

"The first time, the debut, I was so nervous," Chen said through an interpreter. "This time, I was just like, 'I've had this experience already,' so everything was fine to me."

The Kaohsiung native got a no-decision in his major league debut April 10 against the Yankees.

"(Chen's) got his feet on the ground a little bit. He's comfortable. Obviously, he's pitching as well as any of our starters, and very early in the season, he's doing quite well for us," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the game.

Chen held the Yankees scoreless for six innings before yielding a two-run home run to Curtis Granderson in the seventh on a ball that barely cleared the left-field wall.

It appeared that Orioles outfielder Xavier Avery had a chance to grab it, but a Yankees fan plucked it out of the air before Avery could get his glove on it.

The homer did not diminish Chen's masterful seven-inning performance, in which he gave up only four hits and two walks and struck out four.

He was given a standing ovation when he walked off the mound at the start of the eighth inning after being pulled when the Yankees sent up a pinch hitter.

"Early in the game, I had a little trouble finding the strike zone. I was too open, but then Matt (Wieters) helped get me straightened out," Chen said, obviously pleased with his performance.

Showalter, who has brought hope to a team that has not had a winning season since 1997, said Chen's ability to handle different situations and adversity has been impressive so far.

"He's been in a lot of different venues, and tonight was another one that he's exposed to and handled well," Showalter said of Chen, who pitched professionally for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan before signing with the Orioles.

Sabathia took his first loss of the season after a 5-0 start. The Yankee ace, who uncharacteristically had trouble with his control throughout the game, gave up four runs on eight hits over six innings, including a solo homer by Adam Jones.

(By Jay Chen, Summer Kuo and Kendra Lin)