The Orioles have somehow managed to stay in the American League wild card race, and Wei-Yin Chen is a huge reason why.Five of Chens 10 wins followed an Orioles loss, and with Jason Hammel out after knee surgery, hes counted on by the desperate Orioles.After last Sundays win, manager Buck Showalter dismissed the theory that Chen is his ace.I dont look at it that way. I know you could make a case statistically, but our No. 1 starter is the guy whos pitching that day, Showalter said.Hes handled himself well and hes been consistent for the most part. Hes a real competitive guy. Every once in a while, itll slip out publicly. He holds himself to high standards.Chen is 10-6 with a 3.46 ERA. Among AL rookies, hes second in wins to Japanese import Yu Darvish, who has 11.When Dan Duquette signed Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada last winter, most knew little about them. Wada came to Baltimore for an introductory press conference. Chens was held in a hotel in Tapei.Chen is Taiwanese, and pitched the past four seasons in Japan, but there was not much buzz about him. A scout or two who had heard about him opined that the Orioles had made a good signing.In spring training, there were many more media members around Wada. The Japanese media is larger than its Taiwanese counterpart, and though Chen pitched in Japan, his following was much smaller than Wadas.Wada underwent Tommy John surgery in May and this weekend joined the Orioles at Tampa Bay so he could watch his first major league game in person. Hes currently rehabbing at the Orioles spring training facility in Sarasota, Fla.Chen was placed fifth in the rotation this spring, and hes the only one of the five original starters to stay with the team the entire season. Jake Arrieta, who started Opening Day and Brian Matusz, the fourth starter, are both at Norfolk. Hammel is on the disabled list and Tommy Hunter is back with the Orioles, but only after some time with the Tides.Early in the season, the Orioles babied Chen. He was used to a Japanese rotation where pitchers have five days between starts instead of four. The team would juggle its rotation to give him extra rest.Now, they really need him.Chen may have as many as 11 starts remaining in his first big league season, and if he wins four more, hell have more wins than any Orioles starter since Erik Bedard in 2006. Bedard was the last 15-game winner.He could become the second rookie pitcher in as many seasons to lead the team in wins. Last season, Zach Britton led with 11.I see the work he does between starts to be there for the team, Showalter said. The work has paid off. Chen isnt wilting during the latter part of the season. Hes getting stronger.Chen still uses translator Tim Lin for interviews. For in-depth discussions, Showalter relies on Lin to make sure Chen gets the meaning.A few weeks ago, Chen committed a balk that was not discernible. Showalter used Lin to make sure Chen knew what happened, even if the manager himself found it hard to justify.He openly worried about Chens feelings, but after the left-hander just expressed puzzlement about the infraction, he moved on. His English has improved to the point where he can make some conversation, and perhaps next season he can do interviews without Lin.He also uses Lin to help him find Chinese restaurants. Chen recently took Britton to an establishment in Cleveland. Chen is popular among his teammates. Adam Jones frequently lauds him in his Twitter ccount, calling him: Chen-sational. Hes easily joked with them since the early days of spring training.And he likes to win. He doesnt just like to win the day that he pitches. He likes the Orioles to win, Showalter said.And hes been fun to watch.NOTES:-Arrieta was thrown out of Thursdays game in Norfolk for arguing balls and strikes as he was leaving the game.
One night after setting a dubious record for losses, the Baltimore Orioles were ready to savor a rare win against a division rival.
Rookie DJ Stewart hit his first major league home run and Baltimore used five pitchers to avoid a three-game sweep by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Wednesday night.
The Orioles bounced back one night after taking their 108th loss of the season, the most since moving to Baltimore in 1954. They remained three away from the franchise mark set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.
"I was thinking about it tonight how many times I walked down that long hall to get here after a great win, trying to temper the enthusiasm," manager Buck Showalter said. "I still feel elated after we win a game and then I think about all the good things that went on, especially defensively tonight."
Jimmy Yacabonis started for Baltimore and threw four scoreless innings, followed by Mike Wright (4-2), who blanked the Blue Jays over two innings. Miguel Castro allowed a solo homer to Billy McKinney in the eighth that cut the lead to 2-1 before Tanner Scott managed the final out of the inning.
Mychal Givens picked up his eighth save for Baltimore.
Stewart, who was promoted Sept. 11 from Triple-A Norfolk, gave the Orioles the lead when he led off the third with a towering shot off Estrada that caromed off the right-field foul pole. He also had a double in the seventh and scored an insurance run on a single by Cedric Mullins off Tim Mayza.
"I've felt comfortable every at-bat pretty much," Stewart said. "I think there was one at bat I kind of went up there chasing a little bit, just trying to get that hit. I felt comfortable for the most part, but whenever you see one fall for the first time, it's a little bit of a relief that not only are you feeling well but you're seeing the results also. It was definitely big for me."
Toronto won the season series 14-5.
"Any chance you have to try and sweep a team is a big one," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We have had a pretty tough year ourselves so you try to build and win as many games as you can."
The Blue Jays' Marco Estrada (7-13) bounced back from his previous outing when he tied a career-high by allowing eight runs against the Yankees. He was charged with one run and four hits with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings.
"It was a good outing. I made a lot of good pitches," Estrada said. "One got away from me and the kid hit it out, Congrats to him. Weren't too many hard hit balls."
The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the fourth against Yacabonis, who was making his fifth career start. However, he escaped the jam when Kendrys Morales hit a fly ball to Adam Jones, who threw out McKinney trying to score from third. It was Jones' 99th career assist and first in right field.
Blue Jays C Russell Martin has not played since Sept. 3. Manager John Gibbons wants to give Luke Maile and rookie Danny Jansen an extended look behind the plate.
Orioles: Rookie C Chance Sisco will not travel with the team to New York. He took a foul ball off his mask Sunday against the White Sox and is still waiting to be cleared from concussion protocol.
Blue Jays: Sam Gaviglio will start the opener Thursday in Tampa Bay. He has gone 1-8 since July 20 and lost both games against the Rays this season.
Orioles: Rookie Yefry Ramirez (1-6, 5.50 ERA) will make his 11th start Friday in New York. He tied a career high with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings Saturday against the White Sox.
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles lost their 107th game, tied for most in a season since their arrival in 1954, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 Monday night.
Rookie Ryan Borucki pitched eight innings of three-hit ball for the Blue Jays, who have won 13 of 17 games between the two bottom teams in the AL East.
Toronto stands 25 games better than the Orioles, whose 43-107 record is worst in the majors. The only other Orioles team with 107 defeats was the 1988 club, which started 0-21 on its way to a 54-107 finish.
This Baltimore team has been blanked 15 times and owns a major league-worst 26-49 record at home. Only 8,198 fans showed up at soggy Camden Yards to watch yet another defeat.
The franchise record for losses is 111, by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. After going 54-100 in 1953, the Browns moved to Baltimore. The major league record is 120 losses, set by the expansion New York Mets in 1962.
Borucki (4-4) struck out seven and walked one in his 15th career start. The left-hander allowed two runners to reach third base, one of whom got there during a near triple play.
With runners on first and second and no outs in the Baltimore third, Austin Wynns hit a low liner to shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who gloved the ball and then let it drop to the ground. The ploy caught the Orioles flat-footed, and Toronto turned a 6-4-3 double play before Baltimore's Renato Nunez barely beat the relay to third base.
The Blue Jays got all the offense they needed in the third inning against Evan Phillips, who was obtained from Atlanta in the July 31 trade that sent Kevin Gausman and Darren O'Day to the Braves.
Making his first major league start, Phillips (0-1) retired the first five batters he faced before Kevin Pillar doubled, Rowdy Tellez hit an RBI single and Danny Jansen homered to left.
Pillar homered in the seventh, and Aledmys Diaz went deep in the ninth.
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