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Chen Throws 7 Scoreless innings, Orioles Beat Rays

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(photo: J. Meric/Getty Images)

(photo: J. Meric/Getty Images)

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Wei-Yin Chen has put together a pair of strong performances.

Chen allowed five hits in seven innings, Chris Davis had two RBIs, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 on Saturday.

“Chen was the story,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Chen (10-6) struck out four and walked one, improving to 4-1 in his past six road starts. After Pedro Strop gave up a single in the eighth, closer Jim Johnson pitched the ninth in a non-save situation to complete a six-hitter.

“I feel good today,” Chen said through a translator. “Especially, (catcher Matt) Wieters gave me a really good target. I just hit the target.”

Chen was coming off a start last Sunday where he struck out 12 in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

“Five three-ball counts in two games … he made a lot of quality pitches,” Showalter said. “He’s got a good understanding of what’s going on up here at this level right now, and we hope to ride it.”

The Orioles took a 4-0 lead on Davis’ two-run single in the fourth off Jeremy Hellickson (6-7). Davis has driven in 12 runs during a nine-game hitting streak.

Hellickson lasted just four innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. The right-hander struck out four and walked four.

“I just couldn’t make a big pitch when I needed to,” Hellickson said.

Wieters put the Orioles ahead 1-0 on a first-inning RBI single. Baltimore had gone 0 for 22 with runners in scoring position in its previous two games.

“It’s nice to be able to get a hit and RBI, especially when runs can be at a premium,” Wieters said. “Try and take the lead early and make it stand up.”

Nick Markakis made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single in the second. He drove in Nate McLouth, who had a leadoff double. McLouth had his contract purchased from Triple-A Norfolk before the game.

Tampa Bay had two on with one out in the fourth, but Chen struck out Carlos Pena and got a foul pop fly from Sean Rodriguez.

Wieters walked and swiped second for his second stolen base of the game and third this season with two outs in the third. He was thrown out by right fielder Sam Fuld attempting to score on Wilson Betemit’s single.

Notes: Showalter said season-ending surgery performed on 2B Brian Roberts to repair a torn labrum in his right hip went well and that the infielder could ready for spring training next year. … Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria, out since May 1 because of a partially torn left hamstring, will be evaluated Monday. Rays manager Joe Maddon has not ruled out Longoria rejoining the team during a three-game series against Toronto that starts on Tuesday. … Baltimore RHP Jason Hammel (right knee) could resume throwing off a mound in about 10 days. … To make room on the roster for McLouth, the Orioles designated OF Endy Chavez for assignment.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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