Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's game kicks off a four game set in Seattle and got under way at 10:10 ET with two former NPB league (Japan) pitchers in We-Yin Chen and Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound. The Orioles jumped on Iwakuma early with Nick Markakis driving a run in on a single in the 3rd. Delmon Young followed Markakis with a huge three-run blast to put the Orioles up 4-0. Chen went on to deal into the 8th inning while the O's scoring was brought to a halt and 4-0 turned out to be the final score.
Wei-Yin Chen carried a strong track record against the AL West into this one and that proved to be the case again tonight. He pitched one of his best outings of teh season, tossing 8 shutout innings while allowing just 5 hits. His command of his fastball-slider combo was on point and he appeared to have a little extra oomph on the heater tonight, with some coming in at 94 MPH. Chen was in control the entire outing and the Mariners didn't pose much of a threat at any point during his outing. He picks up his team leading 11th win on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.92 in the process.
Final Line: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, Win
Darren O'Day entered in the 9th inning and worked a scoreless inning to seal the 4-0 victory.
Well, there wasn't much hitting to talk about aside from the big four-run inning in the 3rd. So, we'll recap how that all went down.
Ryan Flaherty led off the inning with a single up the middle. Caleb Joseph lined another single into center to put two on with none out for Nick Markakis. Markakis added a third straight single to drive in the game's first run. Delmon Young then came up with the swing of the game on an hanging mid-80's slider, depositing the pitch over the left-center wall for a big three-run blast. Young finished 2-for-4 in the DH spot and batted 2nd in the order tonight. Great call on Buck's part for giving him the start.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Wei-Yin Chen did a terrific job of fielding his position tonight. He made a key play at home in the first, flipping the ball to Caleb Joseph on a weak ground ball just in time to nab James Jones at the plate as he attempted to score. He also made a nice leaping grap of on a chopper off the bat of Jones in the 4th and threw him out at first. Had that ball gotten by Chen, the speedy Jones would easily have gotten an infield single.
Key Moments In The Game
The closest the Mariners came to scoring was in the 1st when James Jones attempted to score from third on a groundball back to Chen with one out. As mentioned in the defensive highlights, Chen nabbed Jones at home for a crucial out.
The Orioles being able to take advantage of two leadoff runners reaching base in the 3rd proved to be the difference maker in the game. Nick Markakis's RBI single and Delmon Young's three run bomb proved to be all the scoring they needed for a win.
Other Notes/ Musings
It appeared to me that Caleb Joseph debuted a new, more open stance at the plate tonight. He picked up two hits tonight so the new stance can stay.
Who says we need a rotation upgrade? The Orioles starters have now pitched to a 3.12 ERA over their last 40 games and not surprisingly, the team record is 25-15 during that stretch.
When called upon, Delmon Young delivers. If only there was a way for him and Pearce to play every day.
Tomorrow night's matchup pits Kevin Gausman up against early AL Cy Young favorite (in my opinion), "King" Felix Hernandez.
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