Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen became the first Orioles starter to throw five innings this spring and was one wind-aided home run ball away from a scoreless effort against the Red Sox’s split-squad team Saturday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.
Otherwise, the Orioles tied the Red Sox 3-3 after 10 innings, Baltimore’s third tie in eight days.
Chen yielded six hits and struck out three in his five innings (75 pitches) but allowed a three-run homer to Nate Spears, a fifth-round pick of the Orioles' in 2003.
“That was one of our better outings this spring,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We gave up a wind-aided fly ball, and other than that, he has five shutout innings. He threw real well. He was sharp with his command.”
“I like where he is right now,” Showalter added. “He’s getting a little better every time out. He’s starting to get more comfortable.”
Chen, a Taiwanese-born 26-year-old who pitched in Japan the past four seasons, also made two inning-ending pickoff moves at first base, nabbing shortstop Pedro Ciriaco in the second and catching first baseman Adrian Gonzalez leaning in the third. Chen also nearly picked catcher Ryan Lavarnway off second in the fifth inning shortly before Spears' home-run ball.
Nick Markakis, making his second Grapefruit League start at DH, got his first hits of the spring, a check-swing looping single to right in the first and a double down the right-field line in the sixth. Orioles center fielder Adam Jones also had two hits for the Orioles.