It's become a pretty simple formula during the three-year Orioles career of left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. If he gets through seven innings, the Orioles win. Almost every time.
On Friday, in the Orioles' 2-1 win against the Seattle Mariners, Chen pitched into the eighth in one of his more impressive outings of the season, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out a season-high eight batters.
The Orioles bullpen, including newcomer Andrew Miller, took over after that to secure the Orioles' ninth win in 14 second-half games.
Chen (12-3) has won five straight outings and has matched his major-league high in victories. He's now 15-1 in games in which he pitches at least seven innings in his career and the Orioles are 18-2 in the 20 times Chen has done that.
The one run allowed by Chen on Friday nearly didn't happen. Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano attempted to score on Kendrys Morales' double to left in the fourth inning. Cano might have been out at the plate, but catcher Caleb Joseph couldn't hold onto the relay throw.
Chen didn't give up a run after that.
The Orioles (61-47) are 22-17 in one-run games and 4-1 against the Mariners (56-53) this season.
The Orioles scored first Friday on an RBI single up the middle by Manny Machado in the third inning that plated Delmon Young, who had doubled off Seattle's 25-year-old rookie, Roenis Elias.
The Cuban left-hander, who was making his 22nd big league start, had faced the Orioles once before this week, allowing one run in five innings Sunday in Seattle.
He matched that line through five innings Friday night, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Machado led off the inning with a double that nearly cleared the grounds crew shed in right field. Adam Jones then hit a bouncer to short, and Machado appeared to be running into an out at third base. But Mariners shortstop Chris Taylor, the cut-off man, fumbled the ball on the exchange from his glove.
After two strikeouts by Elias (8-9), J.J. Hardy hit a single up the middle that a sliding Cano couldn't quite snag. Machado scored the tiebreaker from third. That was Elias' last batter -- he was charged with two runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk and struck out seven.
Chen was a tad better. He didn't walk a batter until the last one he faced with one out in the eighth. It was the fourth straight game in which Chen has given up one walk or none.
With Austin Jackson on first, Orioles manager Buck Showalter pulled Chen, who walked off the mound to a rousing ovation from the announced 39,487. The crowd sustained its cheers as Miller entered the game.
Making his Orioles debut after being traded by the Boston Red Sox at the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday, Miller induced a force out that nearly was an inning-ending double play, but Dustin Ackley beat out the throw to first. Ackley then stole second and raced to third when Joseph's throw skipped into the outfield.
Miller walked Cano, but Morales grounded out to end the threat.
In the ninth, Showalter brought in his third consecutive lefty, closer Zach Britton, who recorded his 22nd save--and seventh straight--with a perfect ninth.
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