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Chen, O's down Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. - Two batters into the third inning, Wei-Yin Chen had reached his pitch limit, and Buck Showalter came trotting to the mound.

Chen's second outing of spring training was done, and it was just OK.

He allowed two runs, one of them unearned, on a hit and walked two while striking out four in the Baltimore Orioles' 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates before 6,353 chilled fans at McKechnie Field on Friday night.

In his first outing last Saturday, Chen allowed two hits in two innings against Tampa Bay. With perhaps four more starts until the season starts, Chen thinks he's on his way.

"I'm definitely on schedule right now," Chen said through his translator. "Spring training is just about adjustments, so I'm still working on that. There are a lot of things I need to adjust."

Chen likes how his fastballs are moving, but his changeup needs work, and his slider isn't' there yet.

As the team's leading winner last season, Chen is confident about 2013.

"Definitely. I feel it's going to be a good year for me."

Showalter is pleased with how his starting pitchers, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman and Chen are doing.

"He's in a good spot," Showalter said. "His arm feels good. I like where he is."

Chen threw to non-roster catcher Jose Gil. Last week, he threw to Luis Exposito. Matt Wieters has yet to catch in a road game, and backup receiver Taylor Teagarden has been sidelined with a back injury, though he should be back early next week, Showalter said.

Non-roster hopefuls Travis Ishikawa, Jason Pridie and Trayvon Robinson had RBIs, Lew Ford hit a seventh-inning home run.

Tommy Hunter relieved Chen and gave up two hits in 1 2/3 innings of work. Brian Matusz pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Daniel Schlereth gave up an unearned run in the seventh and Troy Patton finished with two scoreless innings.

MARKAKIS SITS: Nick Markakis was scratched from last Sunday's game with neck spasms. Showalter had said that he hoped to have Markakis back next Sunday, but before the game said that wasn't going to happen.

He's hoping Markakis gets back Mar. 14.

WATCHING SCHOOP AND STROP: Showalter makes it a point to keep close tabs on his two players in the World Baseball Classic.

Pedro Strop threw 1 2/3 innings for the Dominican to get a win over Venezuela, and Schoop had three hits, including a three-run home run for The Netherlands in its win over Cuba.

"With Jonathan, it's nothing but good," Showalter said. "From an organizational standpoint, I've got to think a lot of people are seeing what a good player and prospect he is."

Schoop will stay with the Orioles for a few games after he returns from the WBC before he begins his minor league season.

SIGNED THEM UP: The Orioles reached agreement with 17 players on one-year contracts and have all 40 players on their roster signed.

The players signed were RHPs Jake Arrieta, Zach Clark, Miguel Gonzalez, Steve Johnson, Pedro Strop, LHPs Mike Belfiore, Zach Britton and T.J. McFarland, C Luis Exposito, 3B Manny Machado, INFs Ryan Flaherty, Jonathan Schoop, Danny Valencia, Yamaico Navarro and OFs Xavier Avery and L.J. Hoes.

COMING UP: The Orioles face the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers on Saturday night. Dylan Bundy gets his first start. Kevin Gausman will follow.

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