Journeyman left-hander Bruce Chen may have finally found a home in Baltimore.
He’ll shoot for his third straight victory and fourth of the season when the first-place Orioles resume a three-game series with the visiting Kansas City Royals.
Chen, who has pitched for eight teams since entering the majors with Atlanta in 1998, has played a large role in Baltimore’s fast start. The 27-year-old native of Panama has allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his first five starts for the Orioles.
He yielded three runs and seven hits over six solid innings Sunday, striking out a season-high seven in a 7-4 win over Tampa Bay.
Chen, who went 2-1 in eight appearances for the Orioles last year, has not won four games in a season since 2001, when he picked up seven victories in 27 starts for Philadelphia and the New York Mets.
“I was talking to some of our pitchers, and it would be tough to face us,” said Chen, referring to Baltimore’s league-leading offense. “I’m glad we’re pitching for this team. This team has been unbelievable.”
Chen will try to follow a strong performance by Sidney Ponson, who pitched eight innings of five-hit ball in Friday’s series-opening 3-1 victory.
B.J. Surhoff had three hits and two RBIs for the Orioles, who have won 10 of their last 12 games. Baltimore has surrendered just a combined three runs in its last three games.
Ken Harvey drove in the lone run for the Royals, who have lost 13 of 15. Kansas City is off to its worst start through 29 games.