ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Wei-Yin Chen was disappointed in his performance on the day teammate Nick Markakis underwent wrist surgery.
David Price scattered four hits over 7 1-3 innings, Hideki Matsui homered and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Chen and the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 on Friday night.
After Luke Scott hit a two-run single and Sean Rodriguez added a run-scoring bunt, Matsui belted a two-run homer off Chen (4-2) to make it 5-0 in the first. Matsui, who was promoted from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday, has homered in two of his three games with Tampa Bay.
``First inning, my fastball, I couldn't command it,' Chen said through a translator. ``Off-speed pitches were out of the zone. I didn't do my job.'
Chen gave up five runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. The left-hander didn't allow a hit after Matsui's first-inning homer.
``I'm real proud of Chen, and our whole pitching staff after the first inning,' Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. ``He got a lot crisper with his breaking ball and started attacking the hitters a little bit. He has a pretty good make up. He's a competitive young man.'
Baltimore, which has lost six in a row and nine of 11, placed Markakis on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a fractured left wrist. The outfielder had surgery on Friday and is expected to be out three to four weeks.
``It's a hard time for our team,' Chen said. ``I really wanted to help the team win.'
Baltimore ran itself out of at least one run and possibly a big inning in the sixth. Hardy hit a fly to deep center with the bases loaded, but before Bill Hall reached home from third, B.J. Upton threw Steve Tolleson out attempting to advance from first to second for an inning-ending double play. Since the third out occurred before Hall crossed the plate, no run scored on the play.
``That's not the game,' Showalter said. ``The game was Price, the first inning. Stevie is a good fundamental player. He just wanted to make something happen for our club. It's one of those things he knew as soon as he did it (it was a mistake).'
Price (7-3), who struck out five and walked two, retired his first 13 batters. He got some defensive help when right fielder Matt Joyce made a full-extension, tumbling backhanded catch on J.J. Hardy's drive to end the fourth.
Price was charged with a fourth hit after a postgame scoring change that gave Wilson Betemit - the left-hander's final batter - a single on a grounder first called an error on second baseman Ben Zobrist.
``He's good, period,' Showalter said of Price.
Jake McGee replaced Price and struck out both batters he faced in the eighth. The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on three singles against Burke Badenhop, but Fernando Rodney struck out Mark Reynolds and got a grounder from Chris Davis for his 17th save.
Matt Wieters, mired in a 3-for-43 slide, got the Orioles' first hit when he grounded a single into right field with one out in the fifth.
NOTES: The Orioles purchased the contract of Hall from Triple-A Norfolk, and transferred 2B Brian Roberts (concussion symptoms) from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list. ... Roberts is currently on a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie. The Orioles said Roberts will join Norfolk on Tuesday for an eight-game road trip. ... Orioles CF Adam Jones, hit on the left wrist by a pitched ball Wednesday, was in the starting lineup and went 2 for 4. He had a 20-game hitting streak end on Wednesday. ... Baltimore LHP Brian Matusz (4-5) will go against Tampa Bay RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-1) on Saturday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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