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Orioles

Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen pitches well again

Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen could have easily pitched into the sixth inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays at Ed Smith Stadium.

But his goal was to get through five innings – and he did that easily and efficiently.

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"Five innings is what we had [as a goal] before the game and I got there," Chen said. "And we're still in spring training and there's a lot more things I need to work on so it's not about how many innings as pitches.

The only lefty starter in the Orioles' rotation allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and no walks. The only mistake he made was a 2-0 fastball in the third inning that former Oriole Steve Tolleson crushed for a solo homer.

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Otherwise, Chen was excellent, striking out one and throwing 59 pitches (57 strikes). The only other run he allowed was in the first when Kevin Pillar scored on an error by Manny Machado. He's now allowed three earned runs in 13 1/3 Grapefruit League innings (2.03 ERA). He also allowed one run in a five-inning minor league game in his previous appearance.

Chen has been working on a changeup grip, which he says is about to the point where he can grab the ball and throw it without thinking about the pitch.

"I would say it is much better, but still sometimes I think about the grips or how I'm going to throw the pitches," he said. "I'm still going to keep tinkering in the bullpen, but hopefully by the start if the season I don't have to think about it and I can just throw it naturally."


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