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Wei-Yin Chen tosses two scoreless innings in his spring debut

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. — Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings in his first spring training start on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park.

"The last time I pitched was in the playoffs last season, and it was way back," Chen said through interpreter Louis Chao. "So I was worried that when I really faced the hitters, can I still get my feeling on all of my pitches? I was happy to get a chance to get on the mound and face hitters. The result out there, I'm pretty happy about it."

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Like most pitchers in their spring debuts, Chen said he concentrated on locating his fastball. His overall command was good; he threw 27 pitches, 19 of them strikes.

"I just tried to get a feel for my fastball, try to locate it on both sides of the plate and try to keep it down," he said. "That's all I was trying to do out there. I was happy because I was able to keep the ball down and keep it on both sides of the plate. Of course, there were a couple of pitches that could have been located better, but overall, the results were pretty good."

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The only hit the Rays had off Chen was John Jaso's double down the left-field line on Chen's second batter of the game. Chen recovered, quickly retiring the next two hitters – shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and third baseman Evan Longoria – to emerge from the inning unscathed.

Chen said he will go into his next start looking to work on the feel of his breaking ball. He will likely make his next start on Tuesday against the New York Yankees in Sarasota, Fla.

"I tried a couple of changeup and the change in speed, I was pretty good with that," he said. "Overall today, I was pretty happy with the result. … This is the first game in spring training, but in the past, I've tried a lot of breaking balls, even in the first game of spring training. But this year, I just focused on my changeup. In my next outing, I will mix in more breaking balls so I can get a feel of that."

Other items of note:

-- Showalter said Chen and right-hander Miguel Gonzalez -- who both make starts today in split-squad games -- will pitch on separate days in their next starts. Initially, both were slated to pitch Tuesday, but Gonzalez will be pushed back to Wednesday, Showalter said.

-- Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz, who was initially scheduled to pitch two innings in his spring debut tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays, will instead pitch one frame, Showalter said.

Matusz is dealing with a sore AC joint in his right (non-throwing) shoulder, an ailment he suffered while working out. Showalter has said Matusz, who has pitched out of the bullpen for the past two-plus seasons, will be stretched out this spring training. He said Matusz is slated to start on March 14 at home against Tampa Bay.

-- The Orioles will send starters to pitch in exhibition games against international teams from Puerto Rico on March 14 and Canada on March 16.

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