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

Wei-Yin Chen can help the O's escape Oakland with a series win over the A's on Wednesday afternoon.

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.

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 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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