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With rubber match looming, Chen has handled A's in the past

With rubber match looming, Chen has handled A's in the past
Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen walks off the field after the first inning against the Detroit Tigers, Friday, July 31, 2015. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Tuesday's loss to the Oakland A's and rookie Chris Bassitt was one of those forgettable, blah games that happen occasionally in a long season.

If you didn't stay up for it, well, you didn't miss much.

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The Orioles offense didn't touch Bassitt, and though Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez allowed just three runs, he wasn't crisp throughout. He was fine, I suppose, if the Orioles would have scored some runs.

Gonzalez's season ERA now sits at 4.32; his career ERA heading into the year was 3.45.

The Orioles can salvage this series in Oakland, where they are 8-20 since the beginning of the 2008 season, with a win Wednesday afternoon. It would give the Orioles a 2-1 victory in the series, which would be just he fifth time they have won more than they lost in Oakland since 1999.

That fate will be in the hands – or on the left shoulder – of Wei-Yin Chen, who has excelled against the A's in his career.

Chen is 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA lifetime against the A's and 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA at O.co Coliseum. Billy Butler has hammered Chen in their careers – he is 8-for-19 (.421 average) with two homers. Coco Crisp (.273) and Sam Fuld (.200) each have three hits versus Chen; the rest of the A's are hitless against the Taiwanese lefty. Josh Reddick is 0-for-9, but likely won't play anyway Wednesday because he is dealing with back stiffness.

Coming off his worst start of the season – six earned runs in 3 1/3 against Detroit – a rebound from Chen would be big for the Orioles. And it would allow him to even his record to 6-6.

Oakland starter Kendall Graveman is 0-3 with a 6.63 ERA in his last four starts but is 6-7 with a 3.84 ERA so far this season. He faced the Orioles twice as a Toronto Blue Jays reliever last year, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

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