BALTIMORE — With their consistently inconsistent starting pitching showing no signs of stabilizing and their ultra-productive offense suddenly less so, the Baltimore Orioles needed a spark from Wei-Yin Chen on Wednesday night in his first start since May 12.
Chen delivered, keeping the Texas Rangers hitless until there were two outs in the fourth and finishing seven strong innings yielding just three hits and one run. The Orioles’ offense, meantime, re-emerged emphatically in a 6-1 win before 19,344 on a steamy night at Camden Yards.
The Orioles broke through in the third when Manny Machado shot a laser into the left-center gap to score Nate McLouth.
Then Texas starter Josh Lindblom lost the strike zone, issuing an unlikely four-pitch walk to Adam Jones, who had walked once since May 18, and hooking a wild pitch past Geovany Soto to plate Machado.
Lindblom (1-3) also walked the first two batters of the fourth. When his pitches finally found the zone, they were not greeted kindly.
The Orioles (50-42) put up four runs on four hits, including a three-run homer from designated hitter Nolan Reimold — a late addition to Wednesday’s lineup.
By the time the bombardment was over, the Orioles had a six-run lead and Machado had three hits. Chen (4-3) struck out four and Tommy Hunter tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth to seal the victory.
“We were a lot more selective,” Manager Buck Showalter said when asked what the difference was for his hitters. “We made him throw the ball over the plate.”