Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, May 20th
(All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (27-14) at Washington Nationals (23-17), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Wei-Yin Chen (4-0, 2.45)
Washington - Stephen Strasburg (3-1, 2.25)
(Sports Network) - The Orioles' decision to sign Taiwanese hurler Wei-Yin Chen
out of Japan this past offseason registered as the exact opposite on the
excitement scale to when the Nationals grabbed highly-touted starter Stephen
Strasburg with the top pick of the 2009 draft.
Chen, though, has been a big part of Baltimore's claim on first place in its
division and he'll try to remain undefeated this afternoon as he closes out
his team's three-game series with Washington and Strasburg, who is coming off
his first loss of 2012.
The Orioles signed the left-handed Chen to a three-year deal and he has
responded by going 4-0 with a 2.45 earned run average through seven starts. He
hasn't given up more than three earned runs in any of those outings and picked
up his second straight victory on Tuesday. Chen held the Yankees to a pair of
runs on four hits over seven innings, outdueling CC Sabathia by keeping New
York off the board until Curtis Granderson's seventh-inning two-run homer.
"Anytime you're facing a guy like [CC] Sabathia you have to get a well-pitched
game from your starter to be in the ballgame," Orioles manager Buck Showalter
said. "(Chen's) pitch count was way down early and we strung together some
The 26-year-old will face the National League for the first time, while
Strasburg gets his first look at the Orioles after losing a decision to his
hometown Padres on Tuesday.
Strasburg, a 23-year-old righty, lasted only four innings, his shortest outing
since his previous loss on Sept. 23, and was charged with season highs of four
runs -- three in the first -- and seven hits while falling to 3-1 with a 2.25
In 25 career starts, Strasburg is 9-5 with a 2.44 ERA.
Baltimore is in position to pick up its first road sweep in this series since
interleague play began and match its longest road winning streak since 1999 in
The Orioles had lost five of seven in Washington before taking the first two
games of this series, including Saturday's 6-5 victory that gave the O's a
season high-tying fifth straight victory overall.
Adam Jones and Nick Markakis both hit two-run homers and Jones ended with
three hits. Robert Andino added a two-run single and Jason Hammel allowed four
runs over 5 1/3 innings, but escaped with the victory.
"Obviously an outstanding job by the 'pen tonight to fill in for me," Hammel
said. "Once I can get this thing strong, I hope not to let them work anymore."
Baltimore improved its MLB-best road record to 15-5 and its nine-game winning
streak as the guest is the franchise's longest since winning 10 straight from
Aug. 29-Sept. 24, 1999.
The Orioles haven't won six in a row overall since Aug. 22-28 of last year.
Ryan Zimmerman had three hits and made it a one-run game with a solo homer in
the ninth, but Washington still lost its third straight and fifth in its past
Ross Detwiler gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out
three over five frames to absorb the loss.
"The American League is notorious for jumping on some fastballs over the
plate," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "You've got to use that
secondary pitch. I think the first offspeed pitch he threw in the third
inning, he (Jones) jumped all over it."
Washington's slide has dropped it 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta for first place
in the NL East, while Baltimore holds a two-game edge over Tampa Bay for the
top spot in the AL East.
Baltimore leads the all-time interleague series with Washington 21-17 as the
clubs split six meetings a season ago.
05/20 10:36:17 ET