Rangers Stopped by Strong Chen Outing, A’s Blanked by the Pirates

After spending two months on the DL, Baltimore Orioles (50-52) lefty pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (4-3) didn’t show any signs of rust on his return and helped lead his team to a 6-1 win over the Texas Rangers (53-38) on Wednesday.

Chen, who hasn’t pitched since May 12, stepped on the mound for seven innings and gave up one run with three walks and four strikeouts.

Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre

By stopping the Rangers, Chen ended the team’s four-game road win streak. Prior to Wednesday, Texas had scored a minimum of five runs in six straight games. This time, Adrian Beltre got the only single and was the sole Ranger to drive in a run against Chen.

In the depleted Rangers pitching stable, righty Josh Lindblom (1-3), who started in place of injured Nick Tepesch (elbow), didn’t fare as well as Chen. He gave up six runs over 5 1/3 innings. Lindblom’s third and fourth innings were particularly ugly as Orioles Nolan Reimold smacked a three-run home run while Manny Machado grabbed three hits with an RBI.

The Rangers will continue battling with a pitcher shortage. Derek Holland is now just one of the five starters from the team’s Opening Day rotation who is not sitting on the disabled list. The team is looking for help with an eye on possibly trading for Chicago Cubs (40-49) starter, Matt Garza, according to MLB.com.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said of the team’s pitching shortage via MLB.com, “The game of baseball is all about challenges. Those who succeed are the ones who rise to meet those challenges. There aren’t any excuses, you still have to go out and play baseball. My team has had to fight and battle and we’re still playing good baseball. You’ve got to give credit to these young pitchers who have come up and fought.”

The Rangers sit as the AL Wild Card leaders and .5 games behind the Oakland Athletics (54-38). They are +1200 to win this year’s World Series.

On Thursday, the Rangers will wrap up their four-game series against the Orioles. Righty Ross Wolf (1-1) will take the mound in place of the injured Yu Darvish against Orioles righty Miguel Gonzalez (6-3).

Texas gets the win (-127, 8 o/u).

Pirates defeat the A’s, 6-0

After enduring a three-hour rain delay, the Pittsburgh Pirates (54-36) came out strong and defeated the A’s, 5-0. This ended a four-game losing steak for the team and represented the Pirates first win ever against the A’s since interleague play began in 1997.

The night was all about Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano (9-3). In his seven innings of pitching, the veteran gave up four hits, six strikeouts and one walk. His ERA now sits at 2.00 while the team’s is 3.09–marking the best in the majors.

The A’s starting pitcher lefty Tommy Milone (8-8) didn’t have a good outing. He only made it for 2 2/3 innings and during that short stint, he allowed seven hits over 80 pitches.

Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray

Oakland’s one bright spot for the night was the debut of rookie pitcher righty Sonny Gray. He stepped on the mound in the fifth inning and pitched for two innings without a score. He gave up one hit and struck out three.

The player had just been called up from Triple-A on Tuesday.

Athletics manager Bob Melvin said of Gray via MLB.com, “I thought he was really good. You can have some nerves, and sometimes that shows up in command, but he was on it right away. Good curveball, threw a good slider, too. His stuff was excellent. Good start for him.”

Oakland will get the day off on Thursday and on Friday, they’ll open a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox (56-37).

Righty Jarrod Parker (6-6) is scheduled to take the mound against Red Sox righty John Lackey (6-6).

Oakland sits at +1200 to win this year’s World Series.

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