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Chen pitches seven shutout innings in sensational win

2012/06/18 16:48:12

Taipei, June 18 (CNA) Wei-Yin Chen of Taiwan pitched seven scoreless innings in another solid start for the Baltimore Orioles against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday to clinch his seventh win of the season.

Chen and four other relievers shut out the Braves in the Orioles' 2-0 win.

The Taiwanese pitcher was dubbed as "Chen-sational" by teammate Adam Jones after his stellar performance in the final match-up of the inter-league three-game series.

"In the bullpen I felt really great," Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. "Today I knew I would have a really good performance."

The rookie left-hander yielded only six hits and one walk over seven frames, while striking out two in his first on-the-road win. He threw 101 pitches, including 70 strikes, and led in counts for the most part of the game thanks to his good command and clever pitch selections.

Chen used more curves than in the previous games, along with his four-seam fastballs and sliders, and threw fewer changeups. The speed difference of some 40 miles per hour between his fastballs and curves successfully distracted the Braves hitters and he struck out two on the slower curves.

"He came over here basically without a changeup and a lot slower to the plate," manager Buck Showalter said on the Orioles' website. "(Pitching coach Rick Adair has) done a great job getting him some more weapons to defend himself at this level. He's a quick learner. He's grasping very quick."

The Orioles' defense also helped secure the team's second back-to-back shutout since Aug. 28-29, 2010. The Braves' opportunities to score were spoiled by three double plays in the first three innings.

"I felt it was an easier game today maybe because (Jason) Hammel held them in check in the last game. Also, the defense was very helpful and this was successful teamwork," Chen said.

In addition to his good pitching, Chen hit a successful sacrifice bunt in the sixth that helped the Orioles score one run. But Chen said he "still hates hitting."

Showalter, however, praised his timely bunt, saying it was a "difference-maker" in the game.

(By Lin Hung-han, Lin Shu-yuan and Kendra Lin)
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