Bruce Chen hopes to finish off an impressive month with yet another strong outing for the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles as they try to avoid suffering a three-game sweep to the Detroit Tigers at Camden Yards.
Chen, a journeyman left-hander who has spent time with eight different teams since entering the majors with Atlanta in 1998, has helped solify Baltimore’s staff during the early season. He is 3-1 in five May starts, and is tied for the team lead in victories (5) and second in ERA (3.51).
Chen has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all but two of his first nine starts. He yielded two runs and eight hits over seven solid innings, but did not receive a decision in the Orioles’ 3-2 win over Seattle on Tuesday.
Chen limited the Mariners’ production despite allowing the leadoff batter to reach in six of seven innings. He has won four of his last five decisions overall, with the lone loss coming in a 3-2 setback to the Chicago White Sox on May 12.
The Orioles dropped Friday’s series opener 4-3 to end a three-game winning streak. On Saturday, Omar Infante’s eighth-inning homer snapped a tie and gave the Tigers three wins in four meetings with the Orioles.
Infante was mired in a 1-for-16 skid before his blast put Detroit ahead to stay.
“I was really just hoping for a single, to be honest with you,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “But certainly you take the home run. That’s what it takes, different guys picking you up.”
Craig Monroe also homered for the Tigers, who had lost four straight and six of seven before arriving in Baltimore.