Over his past two starts – coming in Boston and New York – Chen has struggled mightily, unable to get into the fifth inning both times. Over a combined 7 2/3 innings, he has allowed 11 runs on 12 hits with eight walks and 10 strikeouts.
In Sunday’s series finale in the Bronx, Chen allowed three earned runs on just four hits. He survived a 26-pitch first inning without allowing a run despite loading the bases on a Brett Gardner leadoff double and back-to-back two-out walks to Alfonso Soriano and Alex Rodriguez.
He seemed to rebound with a six-pitch second inning, but Soriano’s two-out single in the third scored Gardner, who led off the inning off with his second double.
Chen issued three walks in the fourth inning, including a bases-loaded pass to Gardner that forced in a run. The Yankees went up 3-0 on Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly to right.
Chen went into Sunday game having won just one of his previous five starts, going 1-4 in that span. He was coming of the shortest outing of his career, a 3 2/3-inning, eight-run outing in a 13-2 loss in Boston. Chen has walked at least three in each of his past three starts.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun