If he can get three more hits in Tuesday’s contest against the San Diego Padres at
Camden Yards, he’ll be the fourth player in Orioles history to accomplish the feat in four straight games, joining Hall of Famers
Eddie Murray and
Cal Ripken Jr. and outfielder Don Buford.
“That’d be awesome. That would be pretty cool to be in that category,” Machado said. “You have Hall of Famers there, so to be in the same category with them would be a blessing.”
Showalter made a point of lauding the club’s entire effort, including a staunch defense and a bullpen that again accumulated zeroes.
Tommy Hunter entered in relief of Chen and didn’t allow a run in the sixth, upping his scoreless inning streak to 15 2/3 over 10 appearances. Darren O’Day,
Brian Matusz and
Pedro Strop combined to shut out the Twins for the final three frames.
It was the second shutout of the season for the Orioles — both started by Chen. The Twins (17-17) had been blanked only one other time this year.
Now the Orioles, after playing 14 of their past 17 on the road — and winning nine of them — get to come back to Camden Yards for eight home games in 10 days.
“We've just got so many bridges to cross, but you look at the schedule when the season starts, you look at this [past] stretch and you know it's going to be a challenge, especially the teams we're playing,” Showalter said. “It should be a good off-day for our guys [Monday]. We should get back at a decent hour and I'm happy for them. They deserve it. Been a real grind for them for the last three weeks.”
Things have gone rather well so far for the Orioles, who many pundits expected to step backward after last year’s surprising 93-win season.
Yet in what might be one of their finest victories of the season — their second largest victory margin of the year — the specter of potentially losing the rock-solid Chen remains.
“That’s one thing we are really trying to get squared away is our pitching staff. Trying to get some guys in here, throw some innings, eat up some innings and take some pressure off our bullpen,” Davis said. “That’s what he was doing today. So, I don’t even want to go there with that.”
— Baltimore Sun